After a beautiful stop off high in the Swiss Alps, the European Tour remains in mainland Europe this week with the always popular KLM Open. The tournament is another in the list of historic European events which always guarantee good crowds and a strong field. Added into the mix this week is a new host venue in the form of The Dutch.
The Dutch was designed by Colin Montgomerie (with much of the actual architectural work carried out by Ross McMurray) and is a very exclusive members club in Spijk. At under 7,000 yards, distance is far from the course’s main defence but there are many other skills required to score well here.
First off, it is vital to have a good week off the tee. Whether players choose to hit driver, fairway woods or irons for their first shots, they will have to ensure they hit the majority of the fairways. You get the feeling the event organisers and course grandees are wary of too low a winning score being recorded so they’ve let the rough get up and are going to pick some evil pin positions on the tricky greens. As well as striking the ball very well, the winner this week will have to be mentally tough enough to cope with the inevitable run of bad holes.
Jaidee to Bounce Back
Just like this week, accuracy was a vital part of the mix at last week’s Omega European Masters. The tight fairways and narrow entrances to the greens at Crans Montana will provide anybody playing in both events with a good bit of practice. Thongchai Jaidee once again failed to get off to a quick enough start in Switzerland to put himself in contention but his accurate, deliberate style of play is arguably an even better fit for The Dutch. Unlike Crans, The Dutch is not going to yield a high number of birdies so Jaidee can remain patient and pick his chances to strike, all of which makes him a good bet at 33/1 with Ladbrokes.
Noren to Remain in Contention
Alex Noren is perhaps the most in-form golfer on the planet at the moment. The Swede has won twice in five starts and made it to the final of the Paul Lawrie Match Play in that time too. He’s had bad injuries to contend with but now he’s fit and healthy, Noren is tearing it up on the European Tour. He’s got a great all-round game and with confidence at such high levels, he is sure to make an impact once more at the KLM Open. Winning back to back tournaments is incredibly tough but a bet on Noren to finish inside the top five could pay off at odds of 5/2 with BetVictor.
The Dutch is described as an inland links. With some very tricky rough, run off areas around the greens and gusty wind forecast, it very much plays into the hands of the most experienced players in the field. That could mean another good week for David Howell, who is playing well having come back from injury. If he keeps his ball in play off the tee, Howell could come up trumps so back him each way at 66/1 with Coral.