Wednesday, 13 March 2019
Lorenzo Gagli  (Getty Images)
Lorenzo Gagli (Getty Images)

Lorenzo Gagli is looking to kickstart his European Tour season as he defends his title at this week's Magical Kenya Open presented by Absa.

The event was first staged in 1967 and has been won by Major Champions Seve Ballesteros, Ian Woosnam and Trevor Immelman but is making its first appearance on the European Tour.

In recent seasons it has often been the curtain raiser for the European Challenge Tour, with Gagli defeating Jens Fahrbring in a play-off in 2018 en route to finishing 13th on the Rankings to regain his playing privileges on the European Tour.

The Italian has made two of seven cuts so far this season but has never missed the weekend at this event and is delighted to be at Karen Country Club.

"It's amazing to come back to Kenya," he said. "I have a lot of good memories from last year so I'm really excited to play here again.

"The prize giving was really fun last year, there was a lot of people and the president of Kenya, it was really special to be there.

"Sometimes it's not easy, it's a tough job, but at the same time it's really good because you can visit all these kinds of countries like Kenya. I love Kenya and Africa. The people are amazing here."

Countryman Renato Paratore also enjoys the globetrotting nature of life on the European Tour, arriving in Kenya after back to back events in the Middle East, and before playing in Malaysia next week.

The 2017 Nordea Masters winner has not played this event before and is expecting a good test at high altitude.

"I feel good," he said. "I like the course, it's a good challenge, also very good weather so I'm going to enjoy it.

"You have to play every part of the game well because from the tees and also around the greens is not easy, so it's a good test.

"When you are in Europe four in a row is easier but I went from Qatar to here and then Malaysia. It's good because I like to travel and discover new places."

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
T2HARDING, JustinRSA18-15
T2DE JAGER, LouisRSA18-15
T2ARNAUS, AdriESP18-15
5BHULLAR, GaganjeetIND18-14

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