4 Weeks to go...
I can almost already hear the European fans rattling there change at Patrick Reed, from the monstrous grandstand on the first tee and with less than a month to go before I set off for Paris with a weeks worth of tickets in hand. I now find myself frantically contacting some of the best courses in the region, hoping to cram in as much golf as possible during the week before watching the big show start early Friday morning.
Luckily for me, my task is nowhere near as tricky as the upcoming task for Mr Bjorn. This is the final week before locking in the automatic selections and a final opportunity to catch the eye before the European team makes their Captains picks.
Currently Thorbjorn Olesen holds the final automatic spot, he is the only player that could drop out of automatic selection and there are only two players in the field that could snatch it away from him.
Firstly we have Matthew Fitzpatrick, should he win and Olesen finish worse than 8th its back to back cups for Fitzy. Secondly we have Eddie Pepperell, should he win, Olsen would need to be outside the top 12.
Either way it will be a very tall ask for Olesen to be overtaken, the field is relatively strong and will be highly contested by those looking to impress like Pieter's. We also have an abundance of players that probably wont be looked at but are hitting form and of course a huge selection of talented players who represent nations outside of Europe.
Good news for this weeks event though, we should be in for plenty of spectacular golf and even the outside potential of an incredibly exciting Sunday afternoon if the right players are in the mix coming into the final few holes.
This Weeks Focus.
Its too easy to get carried away with all the hype of the Ryder Cup, but before any of that happens we do still have an event to start and conclude and this week the tour head off to Silkeborg GC in Denmark.
The Made in Denmark event had been hosted at the renowned Himmerland Resort for the first four years and this year the event ups sticks and relocates at a rather befitting location... Silkeborg Gc, the home course of Ryder Cup Captain, Thomas Bjorn... Oops there I go again talking about the Cup, told you it was too easy.
The two, nine hole layouts from the venue in play will be the west course and the south course. Both complement each other very well and offer a very consistent blend to create the 18 hole championship course being used.
Whilst watching the flyovers and studying the course it seemed very comparable to many of the finest inland courses located in England. Set amongst woodland, holes framed with tall pines and patches of thick purple heather. Gorgeous on the eye and easily my favourite style of course to play.
Par 72, traditional layout with 4 par 5's and 4 par 3's. (All par 5's reachable in 2 and 1 driveable par 4, maybe 2 depending on tee's and a tempting friendly breeze)
The Course measures only 6,952 yards, much shorter than what were accustomed to but as always wont play an easier than some of the beasts now played across all the tours.
Greens are cross between Bent and Poa. Smaller than most courses played so far this season and slower, with an expected speed a little above 10ft.
The fairways are listed as average in width but certainly have there pinch points at optimal driving points and due to their shaping play even tighter.
The rough is down due to the hot temperatures experienced throughout the summer, however their are patches of heather that don't appear to massively come into play but none the less want to be avoided.
What Required and Key Stats
The rough is less penal than what they would like it to be, however the order of the day will still be accuracy. hitting it straight off the tee and creating the right chance most crucial.
In order to hold the greens and get into the pin locations playing from the fairway will hold a healthy advantage in birdie making and consequently were going to see our good share of irons, hybrids and fairways getting patted into position
I don't believe scrambling will be too difficult on this course, a missed green will most likely leave an easy chip from a consistent lie and level with the green surface, or a bunker shot from a shallow bunker. Both on to a fairly flat, receptive and slower greens.
These aren't the most complex or tricky greens the players will face all year in fact a million miles from that.. Obviously like all tournaments the player who holes the most will most likely win, but the way I see it, that's going to come from continually hitting greens and creating chances rather than hitting it close a number of times but bombing out on a few as well.
Wedge Play...Thomas Bjorn grew up playing this course and there is a very good reason why he is so good with that department of the game. This course with good tee shots will give you birdie chances with as little as wedge in hand a good number of times, there is also that occasion where I bad swing hit into the wilderness may require a hack out leaving an up a down from your favourite yardage to rescue par.
Thorbjorn Olesen - $11,800
Eddie Pepperell - $10,400
$9,000 - $10,000
Matt Wallace - $9,400
Matt Southgate - $9,200
Lucas Bjerregaard - $9,100
$8,000 - $9,000
Erik Van Rooyen - $8,900
Thomas Detry - $8,800
Robert Rock - $8,500
Lee Slattery - $8,400
$7,500 - $8,000
Tom Lewis $8,000
Adrain Otaegui - $7,800
Gaganjeet Bhullar - $7,600
Joachim Hansen - $7,600
$7,000 - $7,500
Marc Warren - $7,400
Matthew Nixon - $7,200
David Lipsky - $7,000
Hunter Stewart - $7,000
$7,000 or less
Bradley Dredge - $7,000
Phachara Khongwatmai - $7,000
Adam Bland - $6,800