The European Tour heads for Holland this week and the KLM Open at Hilversumsche Golf Club. England’s Simon Dyson is defending champion and will be looking for a fourth victory in this event.
As the 2012 European Tour approaches its climax, the race for Euros is warming up with players looking to secure playing rights for 2013 and, perhaps, a spot at the season-ending Dubai World Championship.
A strong field has assembled to contest this tournament with Ryder Cup players Martin Kaymer, Nicolas Colsaerts and Peter Hanson set to tee it up.
They’ll be closely watched by captain Jose Maria Olazabal and his vice captains Miguel Angel Jimenez, Darren Clarke and Paul McGinley, all of whom will play this week.
It will be an important event for 2010 KLM Open winner Martin Kaymer. The German secured the final automatic qualifying spot for the Ryder Cup in Medinah, but has been struggling for form of late. He’ll be looking to prove that he’s back to the top of his game with just three weeks to go until the great biennial match.
Hilverumsche is a historic course dating from 1910 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.
The Dutch Open also has a great history. It was first contested back in 1912 when Englishman George Pannell was victorious. Since then many famous professionals have claimed the title. They include, J.H Taylor, Bobby Locke, Roberto De Vicenzo, Seve Ballesteros, Bernhard Langer and Colin Montgomerie.
Simon Dyson is something of a KLM Open specialist. In 2011 he picked up his third title, beating David Lynn by a shot. Dyson won twice when the tournament was held at Kennemer, in 2006 then 2009.
Venue: Hilversumsche Golf Club, Hilversum, The Netherlands
Date: September 6-9
Course stats: par 70, 6,906 yards
Purse: €1,800,000 Winner: €300,000
Defending Champion: Simon Dyson (-12)
Thursday 6 – Live on Sky Sports 1 from 10.30am
Friday 7 – Live on Sky Sports 1 from 10.30am
Saturday 8 – Live on Sky Sports 4 from 12pm
Sunday 9 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 11.30am
Bernd Wiesberger – Winner of the Lyoness Open in July and the Ballantines Championship in April, the Austrian has emerged as one of the European Tour’s best in 2012. He was sixth last week in Switzerland and will look to continue that good form here.
Simon Dyson – It’s difficult to ignore the three-time champion. His game is clearly ideally suited to this course and he’ll return to Hilversumsche full of confidence.
Nicolas Colsaerts – The Belgian has enjoyed a week off since being named as a wildcard pick for the Ryder Cup. He’ll have had a chance to reflect and will play in this tournament with a weight lifted off his shoulders. Watch for him to produce something special.
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.
Skills required: Accuracy. At under 7,000 yards this is a course where “the bombers” don’t have such an advantage. Watch for one of the shorter, straighter hitters (like a Simon Dyson) to emerge from the pack.
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