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Dutch Open Tips: Five selections from the Netherlands

Dutch Open Tips: Five selections for the European Tour event.
Dutch Open Tips: Five selections for the European Tour event.

Billy Horschel picked up the title at Wentworth last week in the BMW PGA Championship, the European Tour’s flagship event, and next week we have the small matter of the Ryder Cup. Lodged between them, the European Tour heads to calmer waters this week, for the Dutch Open at Bernardus Golf Club. The event returning after a two-year break, with the 2020 version cancelled due to Covid.

A par 72, measuring 7445 yards, Bernardus was designed by American architect, Kyle Phillips. Designer of various courses used, past and present, on the European Tour. Kingsbarns, one of the three courses used in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, PGA National Sweden, host of the Nordea/Scandinavian Masters in 2014 and 2015, the host of the Scottish Open in 2017, Dundonald Links and The Grove, which hosted the British Masters in 2016.

As a new course in the rotation, it’s tough to know exactly how it will play. It looks exposed and pretty generous off the tee, though there’s plenty of danger aside these fairways. Water is well in play throughout, thick heather lines all holes and well placed, penal, steep-faced bunkers.

Clever bunkering is also key around the undulated putting surfaces and along with run off areas, produce plenty of questions to players hitting their approaches into the greens.

Ryder Cup odds

There is rain in the forecast over the next three days, which will soften up the course and if this is the case, I expect we’ll see something in the high teens, approaching -20, as the winning score, with little in the way of wind on the cards during the course of the event. With this in mind, quality approach play looks the main key to success, with players likely to be firing at the pins on the receptive putting surfaces.

Not surprisingly, the field is relatively weak. South African, Branden Grace at 57th in the world is the highest ranked player, with Thomas Detry and Justin Harding making up the group of just three players from inside the world’s top 100. Plenty of interest with a handful of in-form Challenge Tour players, such as Santiago Tarrio and Ricardo Gouveia, of who I expect will be more than competitive.

Dutch Open Tips

Golf betting tips
Sam Horsfield each-way (7 places)
16/1
Odds correct as of 2021-09-14 11:50 Odds subject to change.

Thomas Pieters heads the market, closely followed by Branden Grace. Though it’s the next man, Sam Horsfield, that gets the nod from me. I think he can take advantage of this weak field, on a course which looks made for him, providing he can keep that one round off his scorecard that has so often ruined his chances of winning recently.

It’s been a year of frustration for Horsfield, but that’s more a sign of what we now expect of the uber talented 24 year-old. 17 starts this year and he’s missed just 3 cuts, picking up 5 top 10s. The undoubted frustration comes from the fact he’s probably played well enough to pick up at least one title, with one round often undoing the good work he does in the other three.

Statistically he’s nigh on perfect for how I expect it to play this week. He ranks 4th in approach, 36th off-the-tee and 18th in driving distance. His power packed game feels important on such a lengthy setup and if it plays as scoreable as predicted, he ranks 1st in birdie average on the European Tour this season. Further adding to his credentials.

He’s one of, if not the most gifted player in this field and has an incredibly high ceiling. He can use his power to tame Bernardus this week and with the quality of his iron play on these likely receptive surfaces, I think he’ll make more birdies than anyone. Hopefully this is the week he finally puts those four rounds together.

Jacques Kruyswijk each-way (7 places)
25/1
Odds correct as of 2021-09-14 11:50 Odds subject to change.

I’m finding it hard to ignore the big South African with the Dutch name, Jacques Kruyswijk, whenever he tees it up at the minute. His form has been fantastic all year and statistically he’s doing everything well. Another power packed player, who’s as well equipped as anyone to take to this week’s test.

This fantastic year for Kruyswijk has seem him miss just 2 cuts in 18 and pick up 7 top 10s in the process. The win eluding him until his last start, when he won the Sunshine Tour Invitational when making a trip back home to South Africa.

He’s 9th on tour tee-to-green. Both long and accurate off-the-tee and a strong iron player. Backing this up with a superb short game, ranking 12th around-the-greens and 14th in putting. He also tops the scoring average and par 5 scoring rankings, with only one player, the man above, Horsfield, possessing a better birdie average.

All in all, he’s going to continue being on my radar whilst his numbers look like this. Doing everything but win an event in Europe this year, I’m hoping he can ride the positivity he’ll be feeling from that win in his homeland last time out and pick up his first title on the European Tour.

Jorge Campillo each-way (7 places)
90/1
Odds correct as of 2021-09-14 11:50 Odds subject to change.

With two players from close to the top of the market, I’ll finish with three at much bigger prices. Starting with Spain’s Jorge Campillo.

It’s been a surprisingly disappointing year on tour for the Spaniard. After claiming European Tour titles in the previous two years, winning the Trophee Hassan II in Morocco in 2019, then doubling his tally with a victory in Qatar last year, he’s struggled to make cuts this year, let alone win events. Though he’s started to show promise over the last month or so and looks a big price in this field, with a C.V better than many.

It’s the iron play that has been the main standout in his form over recent weeks. He was 13th in approach five starts ago when finishing 34th in the Hero Open. Following that with a 21st place finish in the Cazoo Classic and 32nd in the European Masters, both times hitting his irons well. 

He’s missed the cut in his last couple of starts but only missed by one in Italy and will appreciate the return to calmer waters after missing by three at the BMW PGA Championship last week.

He also possesses form at the other Kyle Phillips designs mentioned above: 25th in the Nordea Masters in 2014, followed by finishing 33rd the next year. He also finished 18th at the British Masters in 2016. Despite neither being identical to this week’s setup, both possess some similarities, with water in play, exposed in parts and in particular, the style of the bunkering. 

He should give himself plenty of birdie chances around this setup, in the conditions this week and as a proven winner at this level, I’d be as confident with him as I would be with most, in terms of him staying in contention if he gets himself into the mix for the weekend.

Adrien Saddier each-way (7 places)
150/1
Odds correct as of 2021-09-14 11:50 Odds subject to change.

A couple of three-figure selections now, starting with Frenchman, Adrien Saddier. He’s had a largely poor year but has shown improvements recently, making consecutive cuts for the first time this year and that included a season best performance of 7th in the Omega European Masters two starts ago.

That performance offered huge promise. He shot four rounds in the 60s and ranked 2nd, both in approach and tee-to-green for the week. He followed that with a solid performance last time out, when finishing 44th in the Italian Open, enjoying another solid week tee-to-green.

He has just one career win back in 2016 on the Challenge Tour. With bests on the European Tour of 3rd in the Oman Open last year and 4th in the Portugal Masters in 2019. If he can reproduce anything close to that performance in Switzerland, he should go well, on a course of which looks well suited to his big hitting, and take advantage of this weak field to land a first European Tour title.

Daan Huizing each-way (7 places)
200/1
Odds correct as of 2021-09-14 11:55 Odds subject to change.

Lastly, I’ll go with Dutchman, Daan Huizing. A player who’s enjoying a good year on the Challenge Tour, where he’s won and produced multiple other top 25 performances. That win the first time he’s tasted victory since his double on the Challenge Tour in 2013, in his first season as a pro.

Those wins earned him the step up to the European Tour and it’s a real surprise, based on his quality amateur career, where he ranked as high as #2 in the world, that Huizing never took to the big stage and has spent most of his time since then plying his trade back on the Challenge Tour. Until last year when he found himself on the main tour, by and large struggling again but did produce a couple of top 25s in the Irish and Wales opens.

At just 30 years old, he still has the chance to make a real go at the European Tour and could well get another chance next year. Currently sitting in 14th on the Road to Mallorca standings on the Challenge Tour, with the top 20 all earning a European Tour card.

He played this course last year, in what he thought was preparation for the cancelled 2020 KLM Open. However, he did comment on how much he enjoyed it and that he felt confident attacking the pins around here. 

With his strong form on the Challenge Tour, combined with experience of the course and simply enjoying home comforts. Huizing looked the pick of the bigger priced home players this week and is worth chancing at a huge price.

Golf odds
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