GOLF analyst Lewis Blain (@LewisBlainSport) shares his betting thoughts ahead of the Made In Denmark event on the European Tour from the Himmerland Golf & Spa Resort.
Made In Denmark | 23rd-26th May 2019 | Sky Sports
It’s a return to normality this week after Brooks Koepka’s emphatic triumph at the USPGA Championship meant he won his fourth major in two years. Following a week off for most, the European Tour is back – a Tour where the aforementioned powerhouse learnt the majority of his trade.
The highly-rated Swede Marcus Kinhult was victorious at the British Masters two weeks ago and heads towards home this week as the tournament is in Scandinavian neighbours, Denmark.
The tournament is typically played during August or September but with the schedule reshuffle it finds itself right after the second major of the year in May. Matt Wallace who finished third to Koepka over in New York makes the trip across the Atlantic to defend his title, albeit back at the tournament’s regular course – Himmerland.
- Himmerland Golf & Spa Resort, Farso, Denmark.
- Par 71 – 6,881 yards.
- A very short, undulating and exposed parkland-style course.
- Rather penal rough and much slower than normal green speeds.
- Tough closing holes – 16th hole a par-3 amphitheatre with comparisons to the signature 17th at TPC
- Sawgrass and the 16th at TPC Scottsdale. 18th normally plays the hardest on the course.
- Look for those who can handle windy conditions.
- Links form and other correlated course form.
- Strong and consistent putters tend to have success.
- Par 5 scoring and the ability to rack up birdies worth considering.
- Total Driving not key but also worth considering.
- Challenge Tour grads have won all five editions of MiD.
- Combination of some of the above factors suggests why Brits and Scandinavians contend here.
Thomas Detry (33/1 Betfred)
I’m not keen on any of the favourites here this week. A couple of them are coming straight from the USPGA while a couple do not justify their price. One name that sticks out after the main five or six names however is Belgian Thomas Detry. This test appears to be right up his street and it is about time he recorded his first solo win as a professional.
The 26-year-old is a consistent putter on the European Tour, ranking inside the top-30 in SG: Putting this year. Last time out he was a 15th at the British Masters where he ranked third in putting average. He should able to ride the flat stick when its hot. He also rates out well for Par-5 scoring and has the ability to rack up birdies – he set the Challenge Tour record for largest margin of victory when defeating Thirston Lawrence to the Bridgestone Challenge in 2016 by 12 strokes (-29 total).
That 15th at Tommy Fleetwood’s event wasn’t his only top-15 this year having racked up a T9 at the Trophee Hassan and a T11 at the Qatar Masters, the latter proving particularly useful for similarities to here. He too has form in locations close to this week’s venue – a T13 at the 2018 Nordea Masters (Sweden); a third at the KLM Open (Netherlands) and last year’s course Silkeborg saw him finish three shots off Matt Wallace in T7.
He won the 2018 World Cup of Golf with compatriot Thomas Pieters, who was victorious in this very event in 2016. Maybe it is Detry’s time to shine.
Benjamin Hebert (45/1 Betfair)
Another name who has come agonisingly close over his career is Benjamin Hebert. Three weeks ago, he was lost to Mikko Korhonen in a playoff at the China Open while he lost to Adrian Otaegui in the final of the 2018 Belgian Knockout.
The Frenchman thrives in these sorts of conditions having plied his trade on the Alps Tour early in his career. He’s won six times on the Challenge Tour which includes a victory in England and Norway. He also pops up on leaderboards regularly at the Alfred Dunhill Links and the Nordea Masters which puts him in good stead for an event like this.
As one of the best ball-strikers on the European Tour his ability to create opportunities is rife, highlighted by him being 15th on Tour for par-5 scoring, but he will have to improve his putting to contend here this week. However, putting can often be the most volatile aspect of ones game so do not ‘putt’ it past him to just click here in Denmark.
Joachim B Hansen (80/1 Coral)
A Dane is yet to win this event on home soil with Soren Kjeldsen coming closest with a tie-for-second in 2015 but JB Hansen may well buck that trend this week. Fellow Danes Lucas Bjerregaard and Thorbjorn Olesen front the market but are coming straight here from New York, added to that they are likely to have the pressure of the huge home support following them around.
Hansen actually won the 2018 Challenge Tour edition of this by five strokes which helps one of the narratives for this tournament. He also has a pair of runner-up finishes too, one in Sweden and one in Scotland. Back in 2013 at the Scottish Open, he briefly led the final round despite carding a quadruple-bogey on his second hole. A T6 in Oman at the beginning of the year suggests he is in some sort of nick.
The 28-year-old scores well on the par-5s and can rack up the birdies. He just needs to make sure those big numbers stay clear of his scorecard so he can contend this week.
Oliver Wilson (80/1 Boylesports)
Oliver Wilson has already been tipped-up quite a bit this week so the price has come in but I still think he is well worth a go at this number. A T8 in his last outing in the British Masters and the T2 earlier in the year at Qatar caches the eye and could suggest him contending here this week.
Wilson has winning pedigree, unlike many a Englishman ahead of him in the market. He won the 2014 Alfred Dunhill Links ahead of Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy. After failing to gain his tour card for 2018, he wasn't afraid to compete on the Challenge Tour where he also racked up two wins of note – one in Sweden and one in Ireland. History suggests he is a solid links player and that is exactly the pedigree we need here.
The 38-year-old ranks 20th for SG: Putting on tour this season, 21st for SG: Approach and 26th for Scrambling. This looks like an ideal spot for Wilson's first win on the European Tour since 2014.
George Coetzee (100/1 Coral)
A good putting performance is required to win at Himmerland and that's something George Coetzee excels at – ranking 17th for SG: Putting this year. His form in Qatar sticks out like a sore thumb – 5 top-8s, including two runner-up finishes – which can only bode well for his chances this week.
He missed the cut last time out at the British Masters but he can be forgiven for shaking off the rust after a six week break. Prior to that he was in fine form (T2-T17-T48-T6), hitting a lot of greens and ranking superbly in putting. In that time off he also got engaged so there could be added motivation on his first start back.
Coetzee is also a four-time winner on the European Tour and we're getting him at a three-figure price because of a missed cut last week. The South African is able to handle the wind, ranks 11th for par-5 scoring and 6th for birdies on tour this season.
Made In Denmark – Thomas Detry (33/1 Betfred each-way)
Made In Denmark – Benjamin Hebert (45/1 Betfair each-way)
Made In Denmark – Joachim B Hansen (80/1 Coral each-way)
Made In Denmark – Oliver Wilson (80/1 Boylesports each-way)
Made In Denmark – George Coetzee (100/1 Coral each-way)