Less than 36 hours after the conclusion of Kenya’s national open, the European Tour‘s African double continues with the Savannah Classic.
Played at the same Nairobi venue, Karen Country Club, and with virtually an identical field, this week’s event will start unusually on Tuesday and end on Friday.
This will be the third time during the last eight Covid-ravaged months in which the European Tour has staged consecutive events at the same venue.
In August, there were back-to-back tournaments at Celtic Manor, while Aphrodite Hills in Cyprus enjoyed two straight weeks of Tour action during autumn.
In November’s Aphrodite Hills Showdown, Robert MacIntyre tasted victory just days after standing on the podium at the Cyprus Open.
However, two months earlier, Romain Langasque won the Wales Open having been absent from the Celtic Classic the previous week.
And young Finn Sami Valimaki finished second in the Wales Open, seven days after tieing-for sixth in the Celtic Classic.
Good current form certainly remains important, although the big difference in Kenya is the much shorter recovery time between events.
Those who were contenders at Karen Country Club over the weekend may be at a slight disadvantage in the Savannah Classic because of the additional mental fatigue they will have experienced down the stretch.
Perhaps those who finished strongly in the Kenya Open, without ever really contending for the title, will be best placed mentally to pounce this coming week with the tournament starting Tuesday.
Check out the latest betting ahead of this week’s Kenya Savannah Classic
Among this group are South African Jacques Kruyswijk and the aforementioned Frenchman Langasque who tied-fifth.
Kruyswijk closed 65-64, which made it three straight top-12 finishes from as many starts this year.
Langasque, meanwhile, has now finished inside the top-six in all three of his starts at Karen Country Club.
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One other South African to keep an eye on is 21-year-old Garrick Higgo who posted four sub-70 rounds last week and could very well return to world’s top 100 anytime soon.
Sam Horsfield, who tied-eighth on Sunday, won two hastily-arranged events of similar quality last summer and will certainly feel good enough to make it a European Tour hat-trick in the space of eight months.
Last week’s ‘top seed’ Aaron Rai never really got going but closed with a 66 to sneak into the top-25.
The Englishman, who won a prestigious Rolex Series event in Scotland last October, will be expecting greater things this coming week and there’s a strong chance he’ll deliver.
Finally, Guido Migliozzi – winner at Karen two years ago – tied-for-12th on Sunday after making a slow start to the tournament.
Challenge Tour: 2013-16
Sunshine Tour: 2018-2019 (2)
European Tour: 2019 (1)-2021
Twitter: Andy Swales@GolfStatsAlive
MC* – Missed Additional 54-Hole Cut
Note: List Contains Leading Reserves