European Tour: Made in Denmark Preview

Golfer admires his shot

The European Tour heads to Scandinavia this week for the Made in Denmark, Damien Kayat previews.

Made in Denmark | 30 August - 2 Sepetember | Silkeborg Ry Golfklub, Denmark

It’s rather interesting to be travelling to Thomas Bjorn’s home course ahead of the hugely anticipated Ryder Cup. The Ryder Cup captain will be in attendance but will likely be less focused on his own performance than the performance of fringe Ryder Cup options. Marc Warren won the inaugural staging of this event as recently as 2014, making this just the fifth renewal of this relatively new destination. The first four editions were all staged at the Himmerland Golf and Spa Resort, making this trip to Silkeborg Ry Golfklub the first departure for this event.

This course was established in 1966 and was originally comprised of two 9-hole courses: the West and the South Course. The course was extended in 2007 with the addition of yet another 9-hole course: the East Course. To be honest, this is going to require a bit of imagination this week. This course is like the Fight Club of golf courses, with virtually no one knowing much about it. The one aspect of it that is clear from a flyover is that it is a classical tree-lined setup.

This is the final week for Ryder Cup qualifying, which will clearly give an added layer of intrigue to proceedings. Thorbjorn Olesen will be looking to secure the final automatic qualifying spot with a decent showing this week. Eddie Pepperell and Matthew Fitzpatrick are the two players who stand a chance of usurping the final automatic spot this week. Thomas Pieters was devastating on Ryder Cup debut in Hazeltine but will clearly need a brilliant performance this week to even get into Ryder Cup consideration. Whether Olesen qualifies or not, it seems certain that fellow Dane Bjorn will select him as a Captain’s pick. That leaves the likes of Russell Knox, Rafa Cabrera Bello, Ian Poulter, Paul Casey and Sergio Garcia all outside the qualifying spots.

Past Winners
2017: Julian Suri (-19)
2016: Thomas Pieters (-17)
2015: David Horsey (-13)
2014: Marc Warren (-9)

To Win Outright: 
Thorbjorn Olesen 8/1 | Thomas Pieters 10/1 | Matthew Fitzpatrick 18/1 | Eddie Pepperell 20/1 | Danny Willett 25/1

Value Bets

Lucas Bjerregard- To Win 35/1, To Place 15/2
Here I’m opting for a player with a preference for tree-lined courses. Bjerregard’s performances at Fanling, the tree-lined course of the Hong Kong Open, read 24-5-2. More importantly, he finished third at Wentworth in May this year. Wentworth is perhaps the most iconic tree-lined course on the European Tour. He finished ninth completely out of the blue last week at the Czech Masters and is exactly the sort of mercurial figure who could thrive on a new course.

Gaganjeet Bhullar- To Win 66/1, To Place 14/1
The art of prediction is always made more difficult on new courses, sometimes requiring some out of the box thinking. From what little can be gleaned from the build-up to Silkeborg, accuracy could prove paramount on this tree-lined course. Indian Bhullar is a perennial fixture on the top of the driving stats and recently finished seventh at the Albatross in the Czech Republic. The 30-year-old has been brilliant on the Asian Tour, racking up multiple top 10 finishes. That was punctuated by his first European Tour victory at the Fiji International at the beginning of the month.

Hunter Stewart- To Win 150/1, To Place 33/1
This one just screams value this week, despite the fact that Ryder Cup considerations have attracted a slightly stronger field this week. The young American is a Canadian Tour regular and has two top 10’s and two top 25’s in his last five worldwide starts. The former Walker Cup player will be teeing it up for just the third time on the European Tour this week. With just those eight rounds he ranks second on the European Tour for GIR and has a scoring average of 69.

The Man to Beat- Matthew Fitzpatrick- To Win 18/1, To Place 39/10
Looking at the upper reaches of the markets, Pieters and Olesen just look slightly thin considering they have both blown opportunities in recent weeks. Fitzpatrick looks a much more enticing bet to grasp the considerable Ryder Cup carrot that is being dangled in front of him. He needs to win and hope that Olesen doesn’t finish solo 7th or better to secure that final spot. The four-time European Tour winner has Ryder Cup experience and won the 2016 DP World Tour Championship. Wins at Crans and Woburn highlight his pedigree on tree-lined course. He also had an eighth at Wentworth this season, further cemented his status as a player who thrives on these tighter courses. 

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Written by Damien Kayat for

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