Before I get started with this weeks write up I wanted to offer you all an apology for last weeks article or should I say lack of it and the poor showing from my picks. It was far from a good week and although a few of my line ups made cash, I ended up falling short of breaking even...
Hopefully you can all excuse me as I had a couple of extremely important rounds to play.. So early last week as some of you may be aware I was participating in a PGA playing ability test, 36 holes played in absolutely awful conditions with the aim to shoot inside a target score to be accepted on to their university degree program. After a tough slog around an awkward course with greens that resembled the postage stamp in size, I have good news to share. I managed to pass with an abundance of shots to spare, am now a proud member of the PGA and I now cant wait to further enhance all aspects of the game and most importantly gain more knowledge..
Anyway on to a new week with less distractions and hopefully lady luck back by my side I have dug deep this week for our Euro contests and expecting to get straight back on that hot streak.
After spending last week amongst the mountains The European Tour makes its relatively short journey across to the Netherlands and drop down below sea level as they return to The Dutch for a second successive season. Here they will be hosting the 98th edition of the historic KLM Open, with home favourite, book makers favourite and Draft King's most expensive Joost Luiten heading the field as he aims to defend his title and chase down a third victory in his home open.
Designed by Colin Montgomerie and European Tour Designs The Dutch will offer a tough yet fair test. Despite being inland the course has a strong links feel to it especially with the inclusion of scattered gorse and constructed mounds to shape and toughen each hole. In nature very flat and once again exposed to the elements, the test is then further amplified with water hazards that come into play on twelve holes. All sounds very similar to Le Golf National and maybe no surprise that they were in the running to host next years Ryder Cup.
The Layout itself is a par 71 measuring 6,983 yards. It still accommodates 4 par 5's with 3 of those appearing on the back 9, It also offers 5 par 3's and a great chance for players to get on a nice little birdie run. on both sides of the card.
The greens here are Bentgrass. The stimpmeter reading is expected to be close to 12ft and they should be consistent all week. Quite large and undulating in design, offering a good variety of pin positions for the organisers to play around with, many of the greens are slightly elevated with run offs that will be very much in play. Considering the forecast the greens will firm up as the week goes on so maybe worth baring this in mind especially for your weekend line ups.
On this style of course always worth paying close attention to but not worth making decisions on until the very last minute. Anything I hear or see for myself or if there's a side of the draw to favour I will post on twitter. As it stands right now I am looking at interruptions to play caused by storms and if I can get late tee times on Thursday to play most of their golf on Friday. The winds will be much calmer and the greens softer after a good downpour of rain.
Stratergy and Key Stats
Recent form, form on similar style courses, Good accuracy stats off tee and into green, good scrambling, good bogey avoidance stats and a hot putter... Not too much to ask for to find your winner and you point scorers, just need to hope they catch the right side of the weather and of course a little luck along the way.
Once again I will be leaving the top 3 well alone and looking for better balance in my line ups. However of the 3 players available Joost Luiten $11,200 would be my choice. Having won the KLM Open twice already and most importantly last year, its very obvious that he relishes playing in front of a home crowd. Joost showed signs of returning to solid form with a T30 placing last week, if not for a blip on Saturday we may of seen him competing for higher spots. Hopefully this means he will push on this week in front of huge support, give us 4 rounds in the 60's and a nice bonus from a decent placing.
$9,000 - $10,000
Fabrizio Zanotti $9,700 - Seems like a very high price for this player and a few may find it hard to cough up that much cash for him. Then you look at his rounds last week placing him 3rd and his history in this event, 8 events played, 1 missed cut, 2 top 10 placings (2nd 2010 and 4th 2015) and a 16th place finish last year. Ticks those accuracy stat boxes and playing with a hot putter right now.
Ryan Fox $9,500 - Gotta love this play if only for the copious amount of birdies or better made. Finished T9 last week and in all honesty been in blistering form for most of the season and frequently visits the top of the leader board. Not sure on his tee time as it stands but will feature in a line up or 2 regardless.
David Horsey $9,400 - On the good side of the draw and coming in to this event with good form. Finished T30 last week and the week before finished 2nd in Denmark. This style of course should very much suit his eye and style of play. has played this event 8 times, made the cut on 6 occasions and placed 4th last year at this venue.
Julian Suri $9,300 - Becoming a hugely popular play of late and ownership has been through the roof. However I have zero intention of jumping of the Suri train right now especially when it comes to weekend play. No history at this event or course, however going by past performances on similar style course yet again this venue should pose very little problem for him and expect another good result this time out.
$8,000 - $9,000
Adrian Otaegui $8,600 - Hurt a good few of my line ups last week through missing the cut by one. Think I was potentially a week early on this play and going to roll with him again based on performances this year in the Scottish, Irish and French Opens. Did make the cut here last year as well and playing much better coming into this event this time around.
Dean Burmester $8,400 - As most of you know already a firm favorite of mine for a Gpp play. He is an absolute birdie machine further motivated to go hunting flags thanks to the birdies for rhinos charity. Good form coming into this event after placing T30 and T14 in his last 2. Did compete here last year finishing a disappointing 72nd but hoping a bit more experience and course knowledge will push him much further up the placings.
Alexander Bjork $8,300 - Yet another firm favorite of mine but for very different reasons. Cool, calm and collected, Making cuts and trending perfectly in the right direction... T53, T31, T25 and T16 last week. Expecting Alex to make another cut and serve me well in both cash and gpp.
$7,000 - $8,000
Kiredech Aphibarnrat $7,700 - How deep is his belly button?? All jokes aside its been a while since we have seen the style of play associated with Kiradech however last week looked very impressive... 4 rounds in the 60's and a Sunday round of 66 got him climbing into T16. If he can get it going again this week will present incredible value at this price.
Ben Evans $7,600
Thomas Aiken $7,500 - We haven't seen anything of Thomas since the Scottish Open so should be off most peoples radar's. Very consistent tee to green and very good in blustery conditions. Year in year produces superb accuracy stats. Traditionally performs very well at this event and although we haven't seen Thomas play this course before it should suit his game down to a tee.
Nino Bertasio $7,400 - Games looking great right now and certainly has the skill set to do well here as he almost proved whole heatedly last year. Unfortunately due to a very poor final hole on Saturday and followed up with an equally awful Sunday, dropped from leading the tournament into 24th come close of play. Just outside the top 100 for the race to dubai so surely has to be motivated to finish well again this week.
Daniel I'm $7,100 - Has been impressing over the last few weeks and fairly reflected with his progressing results. Played exceptionally well in The Irish Open to finis 4th and more recentlyin his last few week with T49, T38 and T16 in the Omega. Stats wise and course fit should set up perfectly so hoping for a good continuation of form.
$7,000 or less
Austin Connelly $7,000 - Superb young talent who is really proving his worth and making a name for himself. His excellent performance in The Open certainly turned a few heads and more recently in Denmark he proved his potential with a T23. Back on a shorter track the length here should play to into his hands as should his ball flight and style of play fit perfectly to the course.
Steve Webster $6,800 - Just like Austin a player who benefits when accuracy is in more than demand than ripping it off the tee, played some incredible golf very recently in Demark where he was so close to victory and ended up 3rd. Loves playing links style golf. Hopefully well rested up after a week off and ready to get in the mix again.
Todd Sinott $6,600 - To be honest a little surprised to see his price this low and maybe a little worried ownership would be a smidge to high because of it. Still going in a line up or two if needed.. Fantastic in the wind, not seen lots of him this year but what I have has been decent and certainly at this price hard to ignore a player who should at least see weekends play and maybe more if he can get off to a flying start.
Laurie Canter $6,600 - Last and certainly not least Laurie. Not that anyone really likes playing in tough conditions but he certainly seems to deal with it better than most. A links course fan and having a very solid year so far. Not expecting miracles here but feeling confident with Saturday morning golf being on his agenda.
Right Ladies and Gents that's me done for another week, as always the very best of luck in your line ups in all contests. Any questions always feel free to message me through Twitter. Most important of all have a great week and enjoy the golf.