After a compelling USPGA Championship in America last week, the European leg of the DP World Tour season continues from Thursday when the Dutch Open takes place. This is one of the longest standing events on the tour and forms part of the US Open qualifying series.
Kristoffer Broberg was a huge price winner of this tournament last year and the Swede will be looking to keep hold of his title. He faces stiff competition from a number of players who will be eyeing up a US Open berth.
2021 – Kristoffer Broberg
2019 – Sergio Garcia
2018 – Ashun Wu
2017 – Romain Wattel
2016 – Joost Luiten
2015 – Thomas Pieters
2014 – Paul Casey
2013 – Joost Luiten
2012 – Peter Hanson
2011 – Simon Dyson
We are back at the Bernardus Golf Club in Cromvoirt this week. This is the second time this course has staged the tournament so we have a little more understanding about the place. Although the scoring was very low last year this looked a brilliant course with a real good test of golf. A lot of the talk from those who competed were how this is a real links like track so that is very much the stance to take when preparing bets for the event.
The course is a par 72 which measures 7,425 yards. The fairways here are pretty generous so those who prosper will be the ones who excel from the second shot and in. There is water in play in some of the holes and plenty of bunkers as well. The greens are pretty large here so you would imagine that accuracy with the irons and a hot putter would be the recipe to success. This is an exposed layout so those who are comfortable in the breeze should be favoured too.
If you thought that because there was a major last week some of the better players on the DP World Tour would skip this event you were wrong. Two of the top 10 on the current Race to Dubai rankings are here this week in the form of fifth placed Thomas Pieters and Ryan Fox who sits in eighth spot. A further seven players in the top 20 will tee it up in Holland this week. They are Jordan Smith, Oliver Bekker, Adrian Meronk, Ashun Wu, Thorbjorn Olesen, Shubhankar Sharma and Rafa Cabrera Bello.
In addition to that we have tournament winners in Ewen Ferguson and Nicolai Hojgaard while Bernd Wiesberger and Rasmus Hojgaard are also in the field. The defending champion Kristoffer Broberg is here as well while Adrian Otaegui, Dean Burmester, Thomas Detry, George Coetzee and Victor Perez are among the bigger names looking to deliver the goods this week. Ross Fisher, Edoardo Molinari and Richie Ramsay are some of the elder statesmen looking to show what they can do.
Bernd Wiesberger has been a favourite for a number of DP World Tour events this season but doesn’t appear to be getting much closer to winning one. It has got to the stage where his price is based on reputation rather than form. There might be an ounce of fairness to it this week because he has won on a links course before but given his form which now reads one top 20 finish in his last eight starts, he isn’t for me at 22/1.
Rasmus Hojgaard and Thomas Pieters are next in the betting at 25/1. I feel Hojgaard is teetering on the edge of a big week but his putting is a little too hit or miss to be certain of when that is going to come. Pieters is of more interest given that he finished in the top 10 on home soil a couple of weeks ago and was in the top 10 here last year. Since Belgium a fortnight ago he has been to the USPGA Championship and back though which isn’t ideal.
Jordan Smith, Adrian Meronk and Ryan Fox all go into the week as 28/1 shots. The obvious negative for Fox is that he was at the USPGA Championship last week and will have been sat on a plane both ways. Smith and Meronk have the tools to go well here. Meronk still hasn’t won on tour though so that puts me off taking him. Smith has been really consistent this season without getting over the line so of the three he’d be my pick but I’m happy to sit these out. It is 40/1 bar.
Thorbjorn Olesen feels like a pretty obvious bet now he has got back in the winner’s circle. Not only did he pick up the win at the British Masters but he won on a tough course which will give him some confidence and will have announced in his own mind that he is back after a nightmare couple of years off the course, which obviously effected his form and status on it. Prior to all his issues Olesen was a class act, one of the best players Europe had to offer and I suspect we might see him in that vein over the remainder of the year and beyond. As for this week, Olesen is one of the best links players in the field, he putts well and has been firing the approach shots better than most in recent times. Olesen hasn’t played since he won the British Masters but I don’t think freshness is a bad thing here. I think he’s a leading bet.
The course should also be a good fit for Dean Burmester who is another who is pretty relentless with the iron shots and who is one of the better putters on the tour when things are going well. Admittedly it hasn’t been going as well as he would have wanted recently and it isn’t ideal that he was at the USPGA Championship last week but he missed the cut so he should have got back to Europe relatively early. It is only a couple of months ago that Burmester was second in the Steyn City event and I don’t think it is going to take much for his game to come to the boil again. He tends to be best on exposed layouts such as the one he has here and so I’ll pay to see if this is the week he comes good.
I’ll go with two outsiders this week. The first of those is Haotong Li who is threatening to come really good again with his third placed finish at the Ras al Khaimah Championship and the ISPS Handa Championship where he was sixth. The latter effort was on an exposed track like this one. We shouldn’t be surprised by that because this is a player who has placed in The Open in the past and who has had some decent spins at the Dunhill Links Championship so these exposed tracks tend to bring the best out of the Chinese player. When he is at his best he is a match for anyone in this field. Admittedly getting him when he is at his best isn’t as easy as it used to be but he’s a fair price to be chanced here.
My last bet is a complete flier which comes in the form of Darren Fichardt. There is a good chance that the winner this week has an exceptional week on the greens which could well being the South African into play. In three of the last four cuts Fichardt has made he has ranked in the top 10 for strokes gained putting that week while the one in the middle, the Qatar Masters, a similar exposed layout to this one, he topped the field in strokes gained on approach. If he can put those two together then there is no reason why he can’t emulate the top 10 he had at the ISPS Handa Championship. At a monster price I’ll pay to see what a player who is more than competent in the wind can do.
Back T.Olesen to win Dutch Open (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 36.00 with Boylesports (1/5 1-8)
Back D.Fichardt to win Dutch Open (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 201.00 with Boylesports (1/5 1-8)
Back them here:
Back D.Burmester to win Dutch Open (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 41.00 with Betfair (1/5 1-7)
Back H.Li to win Dutch Open (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 67.00 with William Hill (1/5 1-6)
Back him here: