Fichardt Offers Value in Kenya

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Justin Harding won at the same course at the Magical Kenya Open on Sunday but will recent history be repeating this weekend?

Darren Fichardt in action off the tee.

There is a real sense of intrigue in the pre-tournament betting for this week’s Kenya Savannah Classic, which takes place at the same course as last week’s Magical Kenya Open and gets underway just 48 hours after the previous event finished.

Barring a couple of additions, the field for this European Tour event, which starts on Tuesday, is largely the same as last week’s but that doesn’t mean there will be a repeat of the same players battling it out on the final day.

South African Justin Harding held off American Kurt Kitayama to win in Nairobi by two shots, while Scotland’s Connor Syme took third place ahead of Spaniard Sebastian Garcia Rodriguez.

Kitayama is the 12/1 favourite to claim the spoils this week, just ahead of 14/1 Harding, but as previously mentioned, it is unlikely the same players will be duking it out for the spoils once again and that is why the name of Darren Fichardt sticks out at a massive 40/1.

South Africa to Strike Again

With Justin Harding delivering for South Africa last week, there is every chance one of his compatriots, Fichardt, can make it two wins on the bounce for the southernmost country in Africa.

The 45-year-old started off slowly last week, signing for rounds of 69 and 70, but he really started to get to grips with the course over the weekend and carded back-to-back 67s to finish tied-24th.

Fichardt’s putting was particularly impressive in the final round, as he was second in putting average, and if he can keep the flat stick hot this week there is every chance of success.

The South African was third in strokes gained: tee-to-green, so there is nothing wrong with his iron play right now, and he is worth taking on at a huge price.

Scottish Ace Looks Overpriced

While there are doubts as to whether Harding and Kitayama will challenge again this week, one player that should be thereabouts for the second tournament running is Connor Syme, who is available at 45/1.

The Scot signed for a seven-under-par 64 on Sunday to take sole possession of third and had it not been for a disappointing level-par display on Saturday, he could have lifted the trophy.

Syme is also one to look out for when tournaments are played back-to-back at the same venue. Last year, during the UK Swing, the 25-year-old finished tied-third at the Celtic Classic before then ending up tied-eighth at the Wales Open, with both events played at Celtic Manor.

Last week, the Kirkcaldy-born star was first in greens in regulation and strokes gained: approach-the-green, third in stroke average and first in birdies per round, averaging 6.75.

Bhullar Worth a Punt

Another player at big odds this week is Gaganjeet Bhullar, who finished tied-16th at this venue last time out, and he looks worth taking on for an each-way bet at 60/1.

The 32-year-old Indian top and tailed the tournament really well, carding rounds of 66 and 65, it was just the 36 holes in between where he struggled to kick on when others around him did.

If Bhullar can improve his driving accuracy, which was 37.50 percent last week, then he should give a good run in the each-way market at generous odds.

*All odds correct at time of writing.

A single-handicapper, James always offers an interesting insight to the world of golf, with extensive knowledge of both the US and European Tours. James also has a wealth of information about the domestic and international football scene.

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