EUROPEAN Tour golf specialist Vince Blissett (@Vince_RFC) returns to share his thoughts on the upcoming KLM Open.
KLM Open | 14th-18th September 2017 | Sky Sports
It’s the KLM Open this week, staged at the simply named The Dutch, which is in Spijk around 25 miles east of Rotterdam. This is only the second time The Dutch has been used so there isn’t a whole lot to go on, which isn’t much help.
What is known is the stats from last year’s renewal. The top seven's averages for the main stats were – Driving Distance 26th, Driving Accuracy 26th, Greens in Regulation 25th, Scrambling 17th and Putting 13th.
Nothing really stands out there so a good all round week could be the way to perform, but then again it might not be seeing as there’s only one tournament to go on.
Last year I noted down that it was similar to the venue of next year’s Ryder Cup, Le Golf National, home of the Open de France every year.
Looking at the top of last year’s leaderboard backs up that theory and also brings a few other courses/events into consideration. Joost Luiten was the winner of his home tournament last year with Bernd Weisberger in second – both of whom performed well at the French a few months previously, Luiten finished fifth and the Austrian 11th.
The other course that compares well is Diamond CG, which hosts the Lyoness Open while the Nordea Masters and Irish Open both move around from course to course but draws comparisons results-wise.
Luiten has six top-fives including a win at the Lyoness in 2013 and bests of second at the Irish and 11th at the Nordea, both of those also coming in 2013. In fact, that was a good year for his as he also went on to win the KLM at a different course that year too.
Wiesberger, meanwhile, won the French in 2015 before that previously mentioned 11th last year. At the Lyoness he’s four top-10s including a win, has two top-10s at the Irish Open and a third at the Nordea Masters. It’s worth noting that others in the top 10 at the KLM last year have form at those tournaments too but I’m not going to delve too deep.
It might prove to not be the best plan of action but I’m going to ignore stats and go with those in decent form and/or have good showings at those courses I mentioned. The positive is some nice big prices to be had if I’ve got an angle the bookies don’t – the negative is, I might be barking up the wrong tree. There’s only one way to find out.
Fabrizio Zanotti (35/1 Bet365)
There’s one shorter price to be had in Fabrizio Zanotti at 35/1 (Bet365). The Paraguayan won the Maybank Championship back in February but has gone off the boil over the spring and summer.
That was until last week when he bounced back to take third where he ranked eighth in Driving Accuracy, fifth in Greens in Regulation, 27th in Putting and fourth in Scrambling. If Zanotti keeps that up this week he’ll have every chance of a second win this year.
As an added bonus, he also has top-10s at both the French and Irish Opens previously, plus a top-five at the Lyoness on his last appearance in 2014.
Ashun Wu (100/1 BetVictor)
Onto bigger prices now and someone I was surprised to see at 100/1, Ashun Wu.
Back to form the last few weeks with 23rd in Denmark and ninth last week, the Chinese player has ranked well in GIR. Sixth and 13th in those but otherwise doesn’t stand out at all, possibly just what is needed this week.
The only other top-10 this year can at the Lyoness Open which is a big plus, as is the win he picked up there last year.
Wu has a tendency to either miss the cut or be up around the top-20 or better, so fingers crossed it’s the latter again this week.
Maximilian Kieffer (150/1 SkyBet)
Maximilian Kieffer has no form to speak of really but has had his best results on the right courses this year, which makes 150/1 (SkyBet) appealing.
The young German was 20th at the Lyoness and 16th in France where he has a best of 10th in 2015. The same year he was third at the Nordea Masters so things are stacking up nicely.
Add in an eighth and a fifth in the last two years at the Irish Open and I’m sure he has the ability to go well this week on a course he was 34th on last year.
Gary Stal (300/1 Betfred)
Gary Stal has an even worse record this year, which explains his quotes of 300/1 (Betfred). But once again the best results this year have been at the courses I’m hoping match up well to The Dutch.
The Frenchman’s best week was on home soil when he was 16th and second best was at the Lyoness where he finished in 28th. Stal also picked up top-10s there in both 2015 and 2016. One more bonus is a top-10 at the Irish Open in 2014.
Obviously it’s a long shot but he’s a far bigger price than he should be and therefore worth a small wager.