A stalwart of the secondary Challenge Tour since 1991, the event was elevated to European Tour status in 2019 when Guido Migliozzi became the third Italian in 12 years to hoist the trophy after Lorenzo Gagli the previous year and Edoardo Molinari in 2007.

But it was in the years prior to the Challenge Tour that the tournament flourished as part of the Safari Tour, a series of events in Africa controlled by the European Tour in the 1970s.

It was a golden era for the tournament whose history could be traced to 1967 when Guy Wolstenholme claimed the inaugural event.

In the years that followed Seve Ballesteros (1978), Eamonn Darcy (1982), Ian Woosnam (1986) and Christy O’Connor Jnr (1990) were all winners with runners-up including Bernard Gallacher and Sandy Lyle.

RIGHT: Justin Harding won the Kenyan Open in 2021 and returns this week to defend the unique trophy. PHOTO: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images.

While the field doesn’t boast quite such firepower this year this is a national Open worthy of respect.


COURSE: Only two courses have hosted the tournament since its inception in 1967, the Karen Golf Club and this week’s venue, Muthaiga Golf Club which fills the role for the 41st time.

Historically, Muthaiga has given up lowers scores than Karen though Justin Harding’s 2021 record winning total of 21-under-par came at the Karen Golf Club.

Located near the capital of Nairobi, the first nine holes of the course were opened in 1913 with the second nine coming on line 13 years later.

A major renovation was undertaken in 2002 by South African architect Peter Matkovich to modernise the course which now stretches to more than 6,500 metres.

That will be of little concern to the field this week and expect low scores again.


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PLAYERS TO WATCH: While the Tour’s biggest stars remain in the U.S. in the run up to the Players Championship and The Masters, a decent field has made the trek to Kenya this week.

While there is a large representation of local players, the past two champions have returned with Justin Harding and Guido Migliozzi both in the field.

Both will again be among the favourites this week, Harding’s record particularly impressive with a victory and a runner-up in two appearances.

Blake Windred is the lone Aussie teeing it up on the DP World Tour this week. PHOTO: Octavio Passos/Getty Images.

While both of those performances came at the Karen Golf Club Harding is one of the better credentialled players in the field and a change of venue will do little to dent his confidence.

The South African has also been in decent form in 2022 with two top-10 results from three outings since the start of the year and he will like his chances this week.

Like many in the field Spain’s Adri Arnaus – runner up last year in his only other appearance – is yet to play the Muthaiga course but comes into the week off a good result in the United Arab Emirates.

For a left field pick, Sweden’s Jens Fahrbring has a decent record at this course as a Challenge Tour player.

He was runner-up in 2018 before the tournament joined the main European schedule and he could surprise this week.

72-HOLE RECORD: -21 (Justin Harding, 2021)

PAST AUSSIE WINNERS: No Australian has won the event.


Round 1: Thursday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 10pm –2am)
Round 2: Friday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 10pm – 2am)
Round 3: Saturday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 9pm – 1am)
Round 4: Sunday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 9pm – 1am)
*AEDT, check local guides