The KLM Open | Thursday 10 September - Sunday 13 September | Kennemer Golf and Country Club
After a quiet few weeks on the European Tour, things are heating up in the Netherlands as a top class field will assemble for the KLM Open, one of the more prestigious events on the Tour.
For the third year in a row the event is being hosted at the Kennemer Golf and Country Club and although the course plays short and only measures 6,600 yards, it is certainly not easy. In the past two installments we have seen how much the weather can affect play as the course can be battered by wind and make it difficult to hit the fairways. When the wind is down things, hitting the fairway is a bit easier as they are - for the most part - fairly wide. Keeping this in mind, if you’re looking at backing any of the 18-hole match-ups, it may be worthwhile keeping an eye on players teeing off early as they will be at a distinct advantage. So apart from the weather what else do we know about the course? Whilst the fairways are wide they are also undulating so setting up for a good approach is difficult unless you have a bit of experience. This is key though as the greens are small and often difficult to hit and more often than not you can expect the pin positions to be tricky. The organisers of the event generally go out of their way to try and make sure that scores aren’t too low and they’ve been successful over the years. Birdie making ability is also key as there are a few easier holes to capitalise on. Knowing how to take advantage of those will go a long way in staying near the top this weekend.
Martin Kaymer 9/1
Joost Luiten 20/1
Jamie Donaldson 22/1
Tyrrell Hatton 28/1
Matthew Fitzpatrick 30/1
Eddie Pepperell (33/1 a win, 72/10 a place)
Eddie Pepperell is always one to keep an eye on and this week he looks to be a great value bet at 33/1. He’s in great form at the moment and has been playing some very consistent golf and he will arrive here confident he has what it takes to dominate on what is essentially a links layout. He finished in the Top 5 in the Irish and Scottish Open this year and showed then that he can handle windy conditions on tough layouts and I’m hoping we’re in for more of the same this week. He also finished fourth here last year. At this price Pepperell can’t be ignored. I’m backing him each way.
Martin Kaymer (9/1 a win, 19/10 a place)
It’s always a bit of a cop out to back the favourite but Kaymer looks like he may be the man to beat this week. Bookies obviously agree and have seen fit to price him up at a meagre 9/1 but if he does win, no-one will be complaining. An up-and-down season for Kaymer saw him hit a bit of a slump over the past few months but he looks as though he may be finding a bit of form at the moment and his game looks to be in great shape. Kaymer has won here in the past, I’m hoping he has what it takes to do that again this week.
Miguel Angel Jimenez (50/1 a win, 11/1 a place)
Jimenez has been quiet lately and I’m pretty sure I saw him playing on the Senior Tour a few weeks ago but he’s always one to keep an eye on in tough events like this and I can’t help but feel that the bookies have got it completely wrong with this price. Jimenez came second here three years ago and loves links courses, so makes a lot of appeal this week. I’m backing him each way.
Soren Kjeldsen (35/1 a win, 77/10 a place)
At the beginning of the year few would have guessed that Kjeldsen would have had the season that he has, but he’s found some form and been competitive against some tough competition. He played outstanding golf in Ireland in some very tough conditions and his victory there showed he has what it takes to play when the wind is up. That’ll certainly be an asset this week, as will his cool head under pressure. At this price Kjeldsen looks a good value bet, I’m backing him each way.