The European Tour heads off to Denmark this week for the Made in Himmerland.
The European Tour returns this week after an exhilarating US PGA Championship. There was actually quite a strong showing from the European contingent despite Mickelson’s win. Upcoming Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington also turned back the hands of time with a masterful display of grindhouse golf.
Turning our attention back to this week, the Made in Denmark event has undergone a frankly unnecessary makeover this year: it has been rebranded as the Made in HimmerLand. This tournament won’t just be another random blip on an increasingly insignificant tour. There will be points available here for 2021 US Open Qualification. Still, only six of the world’s top 100 will be in attendance this week. The European Tour has really struggled in the post-lockdown era to create the necessary urgency to return to tour.
One thing that hasn’t changed this year is the venue (though the last time we visited Himmerland was in 2019 due to the pandemic). The tour will be venturing to its northernmost outpost in 20 months this week. Himmerland is a tight, undulating parkland-style course that will put a real premium on accuracy. This weekend looks set to be one for the purists with the relatively tight Colonial being used on the PGA Tour. The rough on display is penal while the slow bentgrass greens can be tricky to read. British players have a long tradition of doing well in these conditions.
Bernd Wiesberger will return to defend the tournament he won in 2019. The Austrian is a known European quantity with the pedigree to match. Fellow Austrian Matthias Schwab still hovers near the top of the betting tables despite his persistent inability to win. Robert Macintyre is an understandable favourite following his recent form and experience with Himmerland. He lost to Wiesberger by one shot when this event was last played in 2019. Elsewhere the likes of Thorbjorn Olesen and Rasmus Hojgaard immediately jump off the page. Dane Olesen is still working to rehabilitate his image in the wake of his suspended sexual assault case. This could be a week to back relative favourites with Wiesberger coming in at 2nd in the market at 20/1.
2020: no event
2019: Bernd Wiesberger (-14)
2018: Matt Wallace (-19) *playoff- at Silkeborg Ry Golfklub
2017: Julian Suri (-19)
2016: Thomas Pieters (-17)
2015: David Horsey (-13)
2014: Marc Warren (-9)
To Win Outright:
Robert Macintyre (12/1)
Bernd Wiesberger (20/1)
Matthias Schwab (25/1)
Andy Sullivan (25/1)
Thorbjorn Olesen (28/1)
Calum Hill: To Win 30/1 | To Place 13/2
It’s surely just a matter of time until this talented Scot breaks through on the European Tour. As I noted earlier, Brits do tend to perform well in this event. Hill’s last result was a highly creditable 8th at the British Masters (which should offer similar conditions to these). That followed a 3rd in Kenya and a 4th in Saudi Arabia earlier in the season. Furthermore, he has won in Denmark before on the Challenge Tour- though not on Himmerland. This all adds up to Hill being an excellent choice at 30/1.
Brandon Stone- To Win 55/1 | To Place 12/1
Brandon Stone is one of the more enigmatic presences on tour. He has probably not won enough on tour for a man of his talents. But that win at the 2018 Scottish Open highlighted his ability to play in cold, windy conditions. Stone has also tasted victory of late. He won in South Africa at the recent Limpopo Championship. This should give him some real confidence ahead of this week.
The Man to Beat: Andrew Johnston- To Win 28/1 | To Place 6/1
I’m opting for Andrew Johnston to pick up his 2nd European Tour title this week. He had a very consistent display at the Belfry recently. He was also 25th here in 2019. The Englishman was also 4th at the recent Canary Islands Championship- so there is some form to work with. He also recorded his only ever European win at the similarly tricky Valderrama. Last time out he ranked 6th for Driving Accuracy and 13th for GIR. I really think that the stars are aligned for a Johnston win this week.