Damien Kayat reckons a couple of South Africans could shine at the European Tour's Dutch Open, taking place at the Bernardus Golf Club.
2021 European Tour
The Dutch Open
Bernardus Golf Club, Cromvoirt, Netherlands
It wasn’t exactly the greatest harbinger of Ryder Cup success that American Billy Horschel went on to win last week’s flagship BMW PGA Championship. It was an exhilarating event, with Ryder Cup qualification fluctuating with seemingly every hole. Bernd Wiesberger managed to secure the final automatic spot while Shane Lowy, Ian Poulter and Sergio Garcia secured Harrington’s captain’s picks. Justin Rose will probably feel somewhat aggrieved after a month or so of solid golf. The tour now moves to the Netherlands for the Dutch Open. Founded in 1912, the Dutch Open is one of those great old events that has been an ever-present on the tour since its inception in 1972. Last year’s Dutch Open was cancelled due to the pandemic.
Having alternated between Kennemer and Hilversumche since the turn of the millennium, The Dutch Open has become somewhat more nomadic since. It was hosted at the Dutch for three years and the International for a single renewal. This year’s host venue- Bernardus Golf Club- will be hosting this event for the first time. Designed by American architect Kyle Phillips, Bernardus is described as a Heathland golf course. This should make it comparable to last week’s venue: Wentworth. There is little information to go on this week. The yardage does read an intimidating 7,425 yards and has a links feel. Perhaps look towards those with links experience and the ability to hit the ball miles.
This is obviously not an elite competition wedged between Wentworth and the Ryder Cup. Added to that, Louis Oosthuizen was set to headline but decided to swerve the event at the last minute. This has really opened up the market (which is ironic considering Oosthuizen’s general inability to close out events). Thomas Pieters has found a bit of form of late but still looks way too short at 12/1. Grace is always a threat while the likes of Horsfield and Burmester are inconsistent but dangerous. Home favourite Joost Luiten will be looking for a Dutch hat-trick this week and will be a popular man amongst the galleries.
2020: event cancelled
2019: Sergio Garcia (-18)
2018: Ashun Wu (-16)
2017: Romain Wattel (-15)
2016: Joost Luiten (-19)
2015: Thomas Pieters (-19)
To Win Outright:
Thomas Pieters 12/1 | Branden Grace 14/1 | Sam Horsfield 16/1 | Thomas Detry 20/1 | Dean Burmester 20/1
Joost Luiten- To Win 22/1 | To Place 48/10
I’m going for the slightly sentimental option this week and backing Luiten to make a run at that hat-trick. He will have a significant advantage over much of the field this week due to his involvement with Bernardus Golf Club. But just have a gander at his form in this event. He finished 2nd at Kennemer in 2006 before a 6th place at Hilversumche in 2011. This helped to pave the way for those KLM Open victories in 2013 and 2015. He has some decent recent form, finishing 12th at the Czech Masters and 18th at the Italian Open. Luiten looks wonderful at 22/1.
Wilco Nienaber- To Win 90/1 | To Place 19/1
Wilco Nienaber is a man in poor form but who possesses some incredible traits. Obviously, he hits the ball a mile. But he has been very inconsistent of late. He won on the Sunshine Tour in May, winning the Dimension-Data Pro-Am. More importantly, he finished 14th on his PGA Tour debut in the Palmetto Championship. He has already posted three top-six finishes on the European Tour. He could make an impact in this field.
The Man to Beat- Dean Burmester- To Win 20/1 | To Place 44/10
Burmester may prove the pick of the myriad South African players this week. He is one of the longest drivers on the tour and should thrive at this venue. He won the Tenerife Open in May with a much-improved putting stroke. He has also become a leaderboard regular since that victory. He was 6th at the Czech Masters last month and he is coming off four rounds of 70 at the BMW PGA.