Selectabet: KLM Open
September 5, 2011 1 Comment
Date: 8th – 11th September 2011
Competition: KLM Open
It’s just a short hop from the height of the Alps (and its’ 2 correct predictions) to Holland and with many of the top Europeans getting high and flying the friendly skies, the 2011 KLM Open has its strongest field yet and will be one of the closest fought events on this years’ tour. Founded in 1912, long before the Tours arrival in 1972, the Dutch Open is a long standing well attended boys outing. And besides the obvious things guys do when they go near Amsterdam, they can also get stoned and go to prostitutes. It’s not all museums you know…
Venue: Hilversumsche Golf Club, Hilversum, Netherlands
It is the most exclusive golf club in the Netherlands and winds its way through the woods and forests and is similar to England’s fine heath land courses of Woburn, Sunningdale and Wentworth. The course begins and ends with testing par fives with many fine holes in between including fine pairs of par fours at 3 and 4 and in the back nine at 15 and 16. The par 3’s are outstanding and 3 of the 4 are less than 160 yards from the back pegs: a course worthy of both a smoke, and a pancake, in the 19th hole.
Yards: 6,906 yards
Par: Par 70
The event is considered by the organisers as having the best field in their 99 year history but it is pot luck week this time around as everyone stands a fighting chance while consecutive winner Thomas Bjorn steps down to give others a go at winning. Equally, I’ve taken time to weed out the tulip seeding wooden shoe wearing homegrown locals who include Jurrian Van Der Vaart (949/1), Inder Van Weerelt (949/1), Joost Luiten (66/1) amongst their peoples and the most well known of the flat land cycling ball strikers, Maartan Lafeber (142/1 all at BetFair).
As almost half of the Netherlands is land reclaimed from the ocean and as its scheduled to rain until the weekend you would think this leads to plugged balls and much placing of the ball but actually no – the sandy subsoil makes for all year round play. And despite the frequent sighting of aesthetically pleasing windmills, there won’t be that much of the invisible interfering nuisance this weekend or any anticipated sightings of Camberwick Greens’ Windy Miller.
That said, the course is tight by anyone’s standards and with Kyle Phillips recent remodeling, Hilversumsche now determines that successful players now have to be long as well as straight to stand a chance.
Ones to watch:
Johan Edfors (123/1 at BetFair) is a truly consistent player – one of the more consistent on the Tour, who likes this type of course having finished 7th at Wentworth in the BMW PGA and is a fierce competitor with 5 top ten finishes in 2011 alone. Is accurate and generally plays well where Lee Westwood (see below) is a real contender.
Nick Dougherty (142/1 at BetFair) is on “form” having made the cut for the first time in 2011 at the Omega Masters, and after his stunning 45th placing delivering his first winnings from 23 outings this season; he is my one to watch this week. With SkySports Di Dougherty on your side – how could you fail after that stellar improvement?
Ones to win:
With 300,000 wooden clogs and a lump of cannabis up for grabs this week, what better shoe cupboard to fill than that of a strictly heterosexual ale swilling Yorkshireman in the form of his life. Simon Dyson (26/1 with BetFair) with 6 top ten’s including a 3rd place over a tricky Wentworth course, a win at the Irish in 2011 and a previous KLM victory in 2009 over this very tight course, Dyson will be a player fighting to maintain (and improve on) his top ten Race to Dubai position.
With seven top ten’s in 15 events, only one missed cut and only one Big Tour win in the current 2011 season, former World Number 1, Lee Westwood (19/2 at BetFair) is surprisingly dropping down the Race to Dubai rankings (currently he is in 5th) thanks to a resurgence (at the right time) from Martin Kaymer (57/5 at BetFair). Ever the fighter though, the Wizard of Worksop is keen, during the busy mainland Europe swing, to fight for his place atop the listings and so expect more from Lee than just “window” shopping in Amsterdam this weekend as he goes all out to score big for both OGWR, R2D and his own winning tally. Westwood hopes a Holland win would be dope.