This week, the European Tour heads to Holland for the KLM Open, staged at the prestigious Hilversumsche Golf Club.
Simon Dyson defends the title he secure with a birdie at the 72nd hole last year, and a strong field has once again been attracted to the narrow, tree-lined venue.
The flagship Dutch course bears a strong resemblance to Wentworth’s West which, incidentally, was designed by the man called in to renovate Hilversumsche in 1918: Harry Colt.
At less than 7,000 yards it is one of the shortest venues on the European Tour, but that shouldn’t detract from it’s difficulty. Last year, the winning score was only 12-under-par.
To fare well at Hilversumsche, accuracy from the tee is paramount, as is a proficient short game and the ability to plot your way around the golf course.
Nicolas Colsaerts has been installed as the favourite this week, and will be supremely confident and relaxed after securing a Ryder Cup berth, but I think others are more suited to this golf course.
Ross Fisher, at 25/1 with Ladbrokes, is a good bet this week. He grew up playing golf around Wentworth and feels comfortable on Colt designs. He won the KLM Open, his first European Tour title, in 2007, and finished 11th in 2010 and seventh last year, ranking in the top ten in Greens in Regulation on both occasions. His current form isn’t spectacular, but he simply cannot be ignored this week.
Miguel Angel Jimenez, at 33/1 with Ladbrokes, is another to consider this week. Jimenez is a past champion at both Hilversumsche and Wentworth, and is perfectly suited to this type of venue. Last week, he started with a dreadful six-over-par 77, but rallied to shoot 65-66-66 and finish just outside the top ten. What’s more, he putted superbly over the last three days, averaging just 25 putts.
David Horsey, at 66/1 with Ladbrokes, is also hard to ignore. Granted, his form isn’t good at the moment, but no one has performed better at Hilversumsche – where he finished fourth in 2010 and sixth in 2011 – over the past two years. Also, in an intriguing parallel to current form, he won the BMW International Open in 2010 after a run of four missed cuts.
Felipe Aguilar is someone who warrants deliberation this week, at 80/1 with Ladbrokes. The Paraguayan is in good form, finishing in the top 20 in Austria and sixth last week at the European Masters. He was forced to retire last year but did well in 2010, when he finished in a tie for 8th.
James Morrison, at 125/1 with Ladbrokes, is a good outside bet this week. He has finished inside the top 20 on his last two visits to Hilversumsche and currently ranks 12th on the European Tour in Driving Accuracy. Additionally, Morrison led at the halfway stage in this season’s BMW Championship at Wentworth, and clearly has an eye for Harry Colt designs.
KLM Open advised bets:
2 pts outright on Ross Fisher at 25/1 with Ladbrokes
2.5 pts each way on Miguel Angel Jimenez at 33/1 with Ladbrokes
1.5 pts each way on David Horsey at 66/1 with Ladbrokes
2 pts each wa Felipe Aguilar at 80/1 with Ladbrokes
2 pts on James Morrison at 125/1 with Ladbrokes