The European Tour: Made In Denmark

Saltire Energy Paul Lawrie Match-Play Preview

We preview the Made In Denmark set to get underway on 24 August at the Backtee New Course at the Himmerland Golf and Spa Resort. 

You have to feel for the organizers this week, with this young event going head to head with the first leg of the juggernaut that is the FedEx Cup Playoffs. There is an understandably ravaged look to the draw, which always introduces possibilities for the keen speculator.

Thomas Pieters’ decision to defend his title has at least giving some solace to organizers and fans alike. The Belgian Ryder Cup starlet will lend a certain razzmatazz to proceedings and should expect a large chunk of the spectator pool.

The European Tour | Made In Denmark | 24 August - 27 August | Backtee New Course, Himmerland Golf and Spa Resort

Having said that, Danes Soren Kjedsen and Thorbjorn Olesen will be flying the flags for the partisan crowd. Olesen held the first round lead at Quail Hollow, before imploding in his characteristically mercurial fashion. Pieters enjoyed fairly benign conditions en route to victory last season. This year is predicted to be far more blustery and could encourage some of the links specialists slightly lower in the pecking order; players such as Paul Dunne spring to mind.

The New Course at Himmerland was renovated in 2012 by Philp Christian Spogard, resulting in an undulating, rather exposed course. The bentgrass greens measure around 10 on the stimp while the fairways are average in width for the most part- that will become much tighter should the wind pick up to expectant levels. The rough, however, is extremely penal, so I don’t think anyone will be expecting a repeat of Pieters’ heroics last season.

Past Winners
2016: Thomas Pieters (-17)
2015: David Horsey (-13)
2014: Marc Warren (-9)

To Win Outright
Thomas Pieters 9/1 | Soren Kjeldsen 11/1 | Thorbjorn Olesen 16/1 | Martin Kaymer 18/1 | Bradley Dredge 22/1

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Value Bets

Paul Dunne- To Win (28/1), To Place (6/1)
Paul Dunne came to prominence at the Open Championship a few years back, only to figure later that season in the Dunhill Links. He is clearly a gifted exponent of links golf, as evidenced in his performance in Scotland last season. He has course form with a 10th place finish in last year’s edition. He had a notable T21 in Qatar this year before excellent showings in Morocco and France, finishing and 13th respectively. He made 11 birdies in his first 2 rounds last week, before running into an inspired Canizares. I think that Dunne looks poised for a concerted effort at this title.

Tom Lewis- To Win (100/1), To Place (22/1)
As seen with the victories of David Horsey and Marc Warren, there seems to be a tendency for British players- generally decent exponents of links golf- to perform well here when the conditions depreciate. Lewis has had a consistent year without that major breakthrough, only missing 3 out of 13 cuts thus far. He finished 9th last week at the Paul Lawrie Match-play event and has solid tournament history here. In his three appearances at Himmerland he has finished between 26th and 15th on every occasion. A depleted field could galvanize Lewis this week, and it certainly galvanizes me at this price.

Lasse Jensen- To Win (175/1), To Place (38/1)
I had to go with a Dane this week- just in keeping with the spirit of things- and I think that Jensen represents phenomenal value for a potential place here. Kjeldsen is exceptionally short while Olsen’s PGA Championship performance was a distillation of his unpredictability. I’d rather opt for this longshot. Jensen has shown a propensity for windy, tight courses, with a 4th place finish in the Trophee Hassan II on a similar course in Morocco. Jensen also has some course form with a 7th place finish at the inaugural event played three years ago.

The Man to Beat- Bradley Dredge- To Win (22/1), To Place (48/10)
It’s hard to look past the journeyman Welshman for the honours this week, particularly at the top end of the market. The two-time European Tour winner has the ability to weather the potentially treacherous wind conditions that may afflict this rather exposed course. But beyond that, his record here is second to none. Upon his three appearances at Himmerland he has manged two runner-up places as well as a 6th placed finish. He also recently finished in a creditable 13th at the Irish Open, indicating that his form for this style of event looks good.

Written by Damien Kayat for @Hollywoodbets