Home favourite Joost Luiten defends the KLM Open this week against a strong field at The Dutch in Spijk, The Netherlands.

Joost Luiten defends the KLM Open this week and he’s joined on the start list by Major champions Padraig Harrington and Ernie Els, together with Euroepan Tour stars Bernd Wiesberger, Andy Sullivan and former World Number 1 Lee Westwood.

The Dutch Open was first contested back in 1912 when Englishman George Pannell was victorious. Since then many famous professionals have claimed the title including – J.H Taylor, Bobby Locke, Roberto De Vicenzo, Seve Ballesteros, Bernhard Langer and Colin Montgomerie.

Last year, tournament ambassador and home favourite Joost Luiten came out on top. He finished three shots clear of Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger.

The Dutch is a private members club that opened for play in 2011. Designed by Colin Montgomerie, it’s a modern design that was laid out with championship golf in mind. It’s a tough layout with challenging greens. Those greens are maintained in exceptional condition and should be extremely fast running for this tournament.

After proving highly popular last year, the KLM Open’s innovative “Beat the Pro” returns in 2017. On the par-3 14th hole, each group will be joined by an amateur for the tee shot who will attempt to get inside the professionals to win a prize. A purpose-built grandstand on the hole will add to the excitement. Last year saw everything from a near hole-in-one from former tour player Robert-Jan Derksen to a shank from 4-handicapper Joost van den Broek.

The weather forecast for this week looks pretty dire. Rain is expected throughout the tournament and there could be some thunder and lightning to boot. There could well be delays.

Venue: The Dutch, Spijk, The Netherlands
Date: Sep 14-17
Course stats: par 71, 6,983 yards
Purse: €1,800,000
Defending champion: Joost Luiten (-19)

TV Coverage:
Thursday 14 – Sky Sports Golf from 10.30am (red button)
Friday 15 – Sky Sports Golf from 10.30am (red button)
Saturday 16 – Sky Sports Golf from 12pm (red button)
Sunday 17 – Sky Sports Golf from 12pm (red button)

Player Watch:
Bernd Wiesberger – The Austrian will be looking to bounce back from a missed cut in Switzerland with a good result here. He was runner-up in this event last year.

Bernd Wiesberger swing sequence:

David Horsey – The Englishman was second in the Made in Denmark at the end of August and he came back well after a poor first round last week in Crans. He finished in the top-10 in this event last season.

Fabrizio Zanotti – The Paraguayan is coming into this event on the back of a strong showing in the Omega European Masters. He’s finished runner-up and in fourth place in this event in the past and was 16th last season.

Key holes: The closing three. The 16th is a testing par-3 of 200 yards with water short and left of the putting surface, anything pulled slightly could end up wet. The 17th is then a short but narrow par-4, it may measure only 400 yards but water to the right from the tee, together with a well-placed bunker on the left make the drive an intimidating one. There’s more water by the green, like the 16th it’s on the left side. The 18th is a monster par-5 that can be stretched to almost 650 yards – a real three-shotter with water threatening down the right side.