Kennemer G & CC once again takes centre stage for the KLM Open after a mini hiatus saw the links style track reinstalled as the location in 2013. Just 1.5 kilometres from the sea, the course is sculpted from links terrain and the event has attracted a top class European Tour field to Zandvoort in The Netherlands.
Leading the market is home favourite and defending champion Joost Luiten - 13.00 - and the "Dutch birdie machine" has been on site practicing hard since last week. A rising star of the game, American Brooks Koepka, who came so close to his maiden European Tour win in Cran last week trades at 23.00 and the market expects him to run well once more. Keep an eye out for Luiten's compatriot Daan Huizing - 126.00 - who is also finding his feet on the main tour and a surprise could be in store from the young man.
The course - Kennemer G&CC
As mentioned, just 1.5km from the sea and built on links terrain, the Kennemer track is one of the shortest on tour playing circa 6,600 yards to a par of 70. An exposed course, the wind is always a big feature here. Fairways are generous but undulating and greens are set to run around 10.5 on the stimp so any advantage the bigger hitters and the better putters generally have is negated here. This shows on previous leaderboards at Kennemer where plenty of older experienced players tend to thrive.
Three from the pack
Shane Lowry is a man ticking all the boxes at Kennmer this week. Shane has a couple of top 30s to his name here including a T15 in 2009. Right in the thick of things in the Omega Masters but just couldn't get the putter working over the weekend in Cran, Lowry is a links specialist with an immense short game and has all the tools needed for this test at 26.00 or 6.00 the place.
Edoardo Molinari - 41.00 or 9.00 - is in the exact same boat as Lowry this week. Now back in top form after injury troubles, Molinari was right at the top of the board during round 3 last week in the mountain only to come unstuck with a triple bogey 8 at the eagle-able par five 15th hole. Molinari is another short game specialist who should relish the set up this week. The last links outing for the Italian yielded a T7 finish at the Open Championship.
David Lynn is a former KLM Open champion sneaking under the radar this week. Lynn really stepped it up a level last year as he took on the PGA Tour and he's been a success where many of Europe's finest have failed in recent times. Four rounds in the 60s at Cran-Sur-Sierre was a nice warm up for the Englishman who returns to an event he has form in - not only on the Hilversumsche track but also at Kennemer. He looks good value relative to the field at 67.00 or 14.00 the place.
Darren Clarke is another former winner of the KLM Open and he did the business on the track in question back in 2008. Somewhat of a course specialist with a T5 last year at Kennemer the Irishman is arguably one of the finest links exponents in the game. Clarke had a top 20 at the Italian Open a couple of weeks back to show the results of some hard work and coaching on his putting and only just missed out on the cut in Cran, carding a second round 66 in the process. Darren posted a top 30 at the Open Championship and looks a fine bet this week at 81.00 or 17.00 the place.