News All Articles
Five things to know: Magical Kenya Open

Five things to know: Magical Kenya Open

The DP World Tour makes its first visit of the year to Africa as the International Swing resumes after a one-week break with the Magical Kenya Open. Here are your five things to know.

International Swing Resumes

Following a one week break, the DP World Tour resumes this week in Nairobi for the Magical Kenya Open as the final stretch of the International Swing gets under way.

The second of five Global Swings that build up to the ‘Back 9’ from late August and subsequently two DP World Tour Play-Offs, the International Swing has already spent five consecutive weeks in the Middle East and continues for three final events in Africa: The Magical Kenya Open, the SDC Championship, and the Jonsson Workwear Open.

Currently topping the International Swing Rankings is Rory McIlroy, who began his year with a runner-up finish at the Dubai Invitational and a successful defence of his Dubai Desert Classic title, but there is still plenty to play for over the next three weeks.

Each Swing Champion who will earn $200,000 from an overall $1million Bonus Pool and will qualify for each of the ‘Back 9’ events. The leading member (not otherwise exempt) from each of the International Swing, the Asian Swing and the European Swing will also qualify for the Genesis Scottish Open.

Celebrating five years on the DP World Tour

While this year’s Magical Kenya Open marks the fifth staging on the DP World Tour, the event's legacy extends much further and includes a roll call of highly decorated past champions.

Previously won by the late, great Seve Ballesteros in 1978, the championship also counts fellow Major winner Ian Woosnam as a champion in 1986, five years before the event became a long-standing tournament on the European Challenge Tour in 1991. Fellow European Ryder Cup members Ken Brown, Edoardo Molinari and Christy O’Connor Jnr is another past champion, along with Trevor Immelman.

Since becoming a DP World Tour event, Guido Migliozzi became the first man to win the title, and he has been followed by Justin Harding, Ashun Wu, and Jorge Campillo.

Inside the field

Jorge Campillo enjoyed a memorable victory during the 2023 edition of the Magical Kenya Open, ending a three-year wait for his latest DP World Tour title thanks to a final round five-under-par 66 that earned him a two-shot victory over Japan’s Masahiro Kawamura. Although absent from this year’s field, several other past champions are teeing up this week as they bid for home glory, including Migliozzi, Wu and Harding – although of that list only Wu has triumphed at Muthaiga.

The Magical Kenya Open also provides opportunity to local talent, with a total of 13 Kenyan golfers taking part in this year’s tournament. Two of those number include returning Kibugu brothers Mutahi and Njoroge, who both now each have the accolade of the highest placed Kenyan player in the last two stagings. Last year, it was Mutahi who provided the feel-good moment of the day on Friday, sending the supportive home crowds into a frenzy with a closing birdie in the second round to safely make the cut and ultimately donning the whole experience as “surreal”.

G4D Tour breaks new ground

After staging its inaugural Net tournament last month, the G4D Tour makes further history this week with its first visit to Africa.

Since its launch in 2022 as a partnership between the DP World Tour and EDGA, the G4D Tour has showcased golf as a game for everyone, with competitors playing on the same course, in the same week, as leading professionals on the DP World Tour.

The field at Muthaiga Golf Club features eight of the top ten on the Gross Ranking division of the World Ranking for Golfers with a Disability, with Dutch female duo Daphne van Houten and Marcella Neggers also teeing it up.

World Number One Kipp Popert is bidding for a remarkable ninth G4D Tour title and first of the 2024 season, with several fellow former winners also teeing it up.

Click here for the leaderboard following Monday's opening round.

Muthaiga Golf Club

The Magical Kenya Open makes its return to Muthaiga Golf Club this year, which has been one of two courses that has hosted this tournament since its inception, staging the tournament in 1967, 1969–2002, 2009–2012, 2017–2018, and 2022–2024. Other years, Karen Country Club (1968, 2004–2008, 2013–2016, 2019, 2021) has had that honour.

A course that attracts plenty of home support, Muthaiga has a history that dates back to 1922, and has welcomed various changes over the years that includes the addition of lakes and faster greens.

Ahead of the 2023 edition of the tournament a small number of greens were changed in order to accommodate more pin positions, specifically at the 7th, 12th, 13th, 15th and 18th holes, while last winter saw a small bit of optimisation of the 12th in order to flatten the very back edge of the green.

Expected to provide different challenges across the week, a new tee at the 14th will be utilised this year, while a significant tee change at the second changes the angle and length of hole - something that will be done over the weekend this year. In addition, the 13th hole will also play from a shorter tee at least one day on the weekend, in order to compliment the tight front right pin positions near the water.

Read next

Discover more