The Magical Kenya Open presented by Johnnie Walker gave the top five from the 2020 Road to Mallorca Rankings the opportunity to tee it up on the European Tour for the first time this season.
They earned additional playing rights on the European Tour this year thanks to finishing in the top five on the Road to Mallorca Rankings in 2020 – when official graduation was frozen due to COVID-19 – and last week presented them with the first opportunity to compete on the top tier.
Spain’s Pep Angles, who finished third on the Road to Mallorca Rankings, posted four rounds in the red numbers at Karen Country Club to finish in a tie for eighth place on 14 under par. The Andalucía Challenge de Cádiz winner finished alongside Dean Burmester, Sam Horsfield and 2018 graduate Calum Hill in Kenya as he recorded his best European Tour finish since ending as runner-up to Garrick Higgo at the Open de Portugal at Royal Óbidos last year.
Marcel Schneider, from Germany, also enjoyed a positive first start of the year as he secured a top 30 finish by ending the week in a tie for 28th spot. The 31-year-old finished second on the Road to Mallorca Rankings in 2020 despite not picking up a win, and instead relied on superb consistency throughout the year to earn a top five spot.
The reigning Road to Mallorca Number One Ondrej Lieser, who won twice en route to becoming the first Czech Republic player to win the Challenge Tour Rankings, started his week in Kenya with a one over par round of 72 but improved remarkably as the week went on.
The Andalucía Challenge de España and Challenge Tour Grand Final Champion, who penned last week’s Player Blog presented by Enterprise Rent-a-Car, added rounds of 68 and 71 to his opening one over par total, before firing a red-hot seven under par closing round of 64 on the final day to earn a tie for 33rd place.
England’s Richard Mansell was the only one of the top five to miss the cut in Kenya, but countryman Matt Ford made the cut on the number before weekend rounds of 70-68 earned him a tie for 52nd place.
All five players will again tee it up in Kenya this week at the Kenya Savannah Classic supported by Absa which gets under way on Tuesday March 23.