KLM Open 2014: A preview and best bets for this week's European Tour event
By Dave Tindall
Last Updated: 11/09/14 7:22am
Joost Luiten will be looking for more home-soil heroics when the KLM Open returns to Kennemer this week.
Luiten delighted the Dutch crowds at this same venue 12 months ago when he edged out Miguel Angel Jimenez in a play-off to become just the second player from the Netherlands to win his home Open since 1947.
Before that, five of the previous nine winners had been Englishmen with three of those victories being racked up by Simon Dyson.
The tournament has been held at various venues down the years with this week's venue, Kennemer G & CC, playing host in 2013, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 1990, 1989, 1983, 1977 and 1976. Winners at this track include Seve Ballesteros (his first ever Euro Tour success), Jose Maria Olazabal, Darren Clarke and Dyson (twice).
Reasonably undulating and close to the coast, the exposed 6,626-yard par 70 will offer a distinct links feel to all those teeing-up on Thursday. Wind is a constant factor, with accuracy off the tee normally a key skill. Luiten and Miguel Angel Jimenez were three shots clear of the field when they contested the play-off after shooting -12 last year. Simon Dyson's two wins came in play-offs after posting -15 and -10 while Darren Clarke scored a four-shot win with -16 in 2008. Ross Fisher took victory with 12-under in 2007. Dry weather in the build-up to the event means the rough isn't as penal as in previous years.
At 10/1, Joost Luiten is half the price that he was last year so when you add that to the extra pressures of being defending champion it looks a price worth passing on.
However, one other Dutchman of interest at a huge price is Daan Huizing.
This is his first start in the event as a pro and the first time he's teed it up at Kennemer but he made the cut and shot some decent rounds in this tournament in 2011 and 2012 when an amateur and is running into some decent form.
He's not had a great debut season as a pro but his last five starts show a 12th, a 23rd and a 35th so he's certainly looking up.
Add in the 'X' factor of playing in front of his home fans and he may just be able to produce a fairystory at 125/1.
Richard Green is at the other end of the experience scale and can still feature prominently at this level.
Richard Green is a 66/1 shot with Sky Bet to win the KLM Dutch Open. Check out all the outright odds
Back in May he lost out in a play-off to Jimenez at the Open de Espana and he's had three top 16s since then including a 12th in Switzerland last week when closing 64-67-66.
The Aussie also boasts impressive course form. He was runner-up here in 2006 after an incredible 62-65 finish, shot four rounds in the 60s to take 15th in 2009 and also made the top 30 last year.
He's got plenty of fine form on links tracks so he looks like someone who could get in the mix. Take the 80/1.
Englishmen with good links form have thrived in this event so how about young Tom Lewis.
The 23-year-old, who shared the day one lead in the 2011 Open at Royal St George's, is really finding his feet at this level and has made 11 of his last 12 cuts.
Recent efforts include a 15th in Denmark and a top 25 at the Italian Open on his last start.
He opened with a 67 in this event last year so can play the course despite a 73 in round two resulting in a missed cut.
Scrambling is a key factor on this track so his 8th placed ranking in that category in Italy suggests his short game is sharp.
Lewis also highlighted his links credentials with a third place in last year's Dunhill Links so all in all he looks worth a wager at 80s.
Finally, Damien McGrane has got asburdly good course form with two thirds (including last year), a fourth and another top 20 in his five starts at Kennemer.
Only last month he was runner-up at the Russian Open so surely the Irishman is worth a play at 66s.
1pt e.w. Richard Green at 80/1 (1/4 1,2,3,4,5)
1pt e.w. Daan Huizing at 125/1 (1/4 1,2,3,4,5)
1pt e.w. Tom Lewis at 80/1 (1/4 1,2,3,4,5)
1pt e.w. Damien McGrane at 66/1 (1/4 1,2,3,4,5)