In previous decades, the Dutch Open used to benefit from its position on the schedule. When it was played in the week following the Open, at least a handful of international stars would stay on in Europe. Nowadays it has one of the worst dates available, just four days after a US major, which can be seen in this year’s distinctly moderate line-up.
 
Several players compete for favouritism around the 25/1 mark; none of whom could exactly be described as prolific. Of the first twenty in the betting, only Niclas Fasth, Darren Clarke and Thomas Levet can boast more than three top-level career titles. Seven from that bunch have either never won, or never beyond Challenge Tour level.
 
It would be easy to make a case for those and the likes of Richard Green, David Lynn, Graeme Storm or 2006 champion Simon Dyson, besides the fact that they all have appalling win ratios. In their favour is an excellent course that rewards certain specific types of player, and where the formbook generally stands up. Kennemer is a rare non-British links, which requires accuracy, high-class approach play, good scrambling skills and most of all an ability to cope with strong North Sea winds.
 
Most of the above-named have sound course records. Clarke, Lynn and Dyson have all won at Kennemer, Green was runner-up on his sole attempt. Levet has finished 3rd before. Storm and Fasth don’t have the previous form credentials, but would appear to have the game to thrive at Kennemer. At least one of this group will surely contend, and I expect a few will make the top-10, but I just can’t bring myself to take short odds about any of them. The trio I’d rate best are Green, Levet and Lynn, and if forced to pick one it would be Aussie left-hander Green.