If we’re being honest, the last couple of weeks on the European Tour haven’t exactly been a great advertisement for European golf, as it tries in vain to compete with the excitement of the FedEx Cup playoffs on the other side of the Atlantic. This week though, all eyes will be on the European Tour as it returns to form with the KLM Open. The break in the action in America certainly helps but so does the stellar field that has been assembled to compete around the championship course at the Kennemer Golf and Country Club, just outside of Amsterdam in the Netherlands.
Kennemer was originally designed by Harry Colt, the man who also designed Wentworth, but nine more holes were added subsequently offering the members three different loops of nine to play. The players this week will play a composite of all three nines and while there are subtle differences in feel, it will offer a links style test. The course is by the seaside bringing wind very much into play but at a shade over 6,500 yards, there are low scores out there even for the shorter hitters. That will be good news for golf legend Tom Watson who is playing this week. Even at the age of 66, Watson has a chance of shooting a score under the par of 70.
Sat at the top of the bookies’ leaderboard this week is the multiple major champion and Ryder Cup winner, Martin Kaymer. The 30-year-old German would not be playing here had he made it through to the latter stages of the FedEx Cup playoffs but he had a poor season on the PGA Tour and so, after a break, he is trying to play his way back into form ahead of the Race to Dubai. Kaymer has had low points in his career before and battled back from them so he’ll be mentally strong enough to put his recent troubles behind him and therefore looks a great bet at 10/1 with BetVictor.
Another player who has come back from an extended lean spell is Soren Kjeldsen. The 40-year-old Dane went over six years without winning before he picked up the Irish Open title at Royal County Down in May. That showed that he has all the tools necessary to deal with blustery conditions at a tough course as did his performance at the Made in Denmark which surely would have ended with a win had he putted better on the final day. You cannot shake Kjeldsen off due his consistency and he should be there or thereabouts at 35/1 with Bet365.
Joost Luiten will be the man who the Dutch fans feel has the best chance of providing a home winner this week. Luiten won this event in 2013 and must certainly be fancied to have a chance of taking his tally of European Tour wins to five this Sunday. His ability to find fairways and hit a high number of greens in regulation means he is never too far away from the top of the leaderboard and at a course that he clearly loves, he should be added to your betting slips at 20/1 with Coral.