Lowdown:

The European tour comes to Holland this week for the KLM Open at Hilversumsche Golf Club in Hilversum.

It’s a historic course dating from 1920 when the original nine holes were laid out. Harry Colt added nine more in 1928 and, since then, Sir Guy Campbell and Kyle Phillips have made further alterations and improvements.

Since the inception of the European Tour the Dutch Open has been an ever present, and this year marks the 16th occasion it has been held at Hilversumsche GC.

The tournament has a rich history and a distinguished list of previous winners. Seve Ballesteros became the youngest winner in the event’s history in 1976 when he won aged 19 years and 121 days.

Last year’s winner Martin Kaymer will be hoping to defend his title successfully but with a strong field full of big names the competition will be fierce.

Looking to take Kaymer’s crown are Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood. Westwood is the only one of the two to have won the event before when he claimed the title in 1999.

Heavy rain in the region means the course is expected to play long this week and, with narrow fairways, accuracy will be key.

Venue: Hilversumsche Golf Club, The Netherlands
Date: Sep 8-11
Course Stats: Par 70, 6,906 yards
Purse: €1,800,000 Winner: €300,000
Defending Champion: Martin Kaymer (-14)

TV Coverage:

Thursday 8 – Live on Sky Sports HD1+2 from 10.30am
Friday      9 – Live on Sky Sports HD1+2 from 10.30am
Saturday 10 – Live on Sky Sports HD1 12pm – 4pm
Sunday  11 – Live on Sky Sports HD3 12pm – 4pm

Player Watch:

Simon Dyson – Will be looking for his third victory at the KLM Open this week before heading to France for the Vivendi Seve Trophy.

Martin Kaymer – The German is looking to claim back-to-back titles in the KLM Open after winning last year’s event. He finished second in last week’s Omega European Masters and will be confident of a strong performance this week.

Rory McIlroy – US Open champion McIlroy is playing in his last event before taking a short break to rest ahead of a 12 week stint on the road. He will be hoping to prevent Kaymer from lifting the trophy and is also looking to build on a top 10 finish from the Omega European Masters last week.

Key Hole: 18th. At just 499 yards, this is a par 5 that’s reachable for every player in the field. It’s relatively tight but there are no real hazards to contend with. Eagles will be scored here and it could mean dramatic swings right at the end of the tournament.

Skill Required: Accuracy. At under 7,000 yards this is a course where long hitters won’t have such an advantage, although heavy rain in the area will mean the course will play longer. Don’t be surprised if one of the shorter, straighter hitters emerges from the pack to win.