The European Tour heads to the Netherlands this week. Who will win?
Dutch Open Golf Betting Tips 2021
Dutch Open Golf Betting Tips 2021
It wasn’t the greatest follow-up to Emma Ranucanu’s fairytale-in-New-York tennis triumph to have the lone PGA Tour American in the Wentworth field walk off with the European Tour’s flagship tournament.
Worse than that, with sixth-placed Justin Rose controversially left out of the squad shortly heading off to Whistling Straits, there was not a single member of Padraig Harrington’s team in the top ten behind 2014 FedEx Cup winner Billy Horschel.
As reigning match play champion, Horschel may yet get a late call for the US team if Brooks Koepka’s wrist problem persists but he won’t be holding his breath as he did not even get a call from captain Stricker to let him know he wasn’t a pick.
Favourite for that would surely be ‘Captain America’ Patrick Reed with his proven Ryder Cup pedigree and for whose omission after his bout of pneumonia Stricker notably apologised.
As a 28/1 winner, Horschel was a very popular winner with Golf Monthly punters but the West Ham fan endeared himself to the public anyway and if there had to be an American winner at a time when Europe so wanted a boost, it was a most likeable one.
Many were surprised Harrington ditched Rose, a great Ryder Cup stalwart who had two Majors top-tens this year and had placed tenth and sixth on his two latest starts.
More than that, he had Whistling Straits form, fourth in the 2015 PGA Championship.
But Harrington was always going to pick Garcia and Poulter (and rightly so because they bring more than just a fine golf game to the team room) and, if it had to be a choice between Shane Lowry and Rose, the Irishman’s greater consistency deserved it.
Let’s face it, it has been a generally ropy year for Rosey and how he got it round even in 72 on Saturday given some of the wides he hit was close to a miracle.
I won’t have it that Pod favoured his countryman because if he was that way inclined he could have left out Sergio, with whom he has had at least one well-chronicled spat.
It was just the way the cookie crumbled.
Rose would likely have got the nod over Westwood and probably Wiesberger if they had not qualified but they did, although when Westwood came off the course frazzled after his 77, he hinted in a wonderfully honest interview that at 48 missing out wouldn’t have been the end of the world.
Let’s face it, whoever had been picked Europe will have a hard job retaining the trophy they won by such a wide margin in Paris three years ago and their chance is reflected by the bookmakers.
Their best price is 9/4 with the USA a top-offer 8/5 and 12/1 the tie.
Understandably, none of the Ryder Cup team lines up for this week’s Dutch Open at new venue Bernardus Golf at Cromvoirt but one former Ryder Cup star, Thomas Pieters, looks sure to take a hand after a tip-top Wentworth performance.
Bernardus is a Kyle Phillips course that had a soft launch in 2018 but now gets its first worldwide audience after a £45m investment and a deal with the tour which starts a year late because of the pandemic.
Californian architect Phillips, best known in the UK for Kingsbarns and The Grove, has created a flat heathland course with large, steep-faced sand traps, gorse and dunes, a sort of Walton Heath but with water on five holes.
Pieters, one of the few success stories in Europe’s 17-11 defeat at Hazeltine in 2016 – he struck up a dazzling partnership with Rory McIlroy and top-scored with four points out of five – arrives in great nick having preceded Sunday’s ninth place with a top-20 in Rome.
The 6ft 4in Belgian is a man to fear when he gets on a roll.
His first two victories in 2015 came in consecutive weeks and when he won in Denmark the following year, it was his first tournament back after just missing a medal at the Rio Olympics.
With 95% of Afrikaans vocabulary of Dutch origin, it’s no surprise that South Africans feel at home in the Netherlands, so expect a strong challenge from their squad.
Branden Grace, pipped in a six-man playoff at Greensboro last month, is the best of them and missing the cut at Wentworth has given him more time to prepare for this easier task.
But Dean Burmester, Rory Sabbatini (born in Durban but these days a Slovakian), Justin Harding, George Coetzee and Daniel Van Tonder could also figure.
Burmester, sixth at the Czech Masters and 30th at Wentworth, should go well and although veteran Sabbatini is inconsistent, he was tenth on his last US start at the Wyndham and he is a six-time PGA Tour winner, admittedly a long time ago.
Of the Brits, Andrew “Beef” Johnston turned in his best performance of the year when sixth on Sunday but it wasn’t his only good showing as he was ninth in the Irish Open.
Local hero Joost Luiten has won his home Open twice and two recent top-20s plus a decent Wentworth effort could give him a look at a third while steady Spaniard Santiago Tarrio has been a real star on the satellite circuit with two victories and a bundle of top-tens.
The 63 he shot on Sunday to finish runner-up on the Challenge Tour in Germany was another high finish.
He doesn’t hit it far but proved competitive on the main tour when third to Grant Forrest in the Hero Open at Fairmont St Andrews and top 15 in Sweden.
Detry, the other Belgian Thomas with whom Pieters won the 2018 World Cup in Melbourne, marked his card incorrectly at Wentworth after two decent rounds and was disqualified.
Hugely gifted but still winless, he continues to give punters a hard time.
Check out how the GM Tipster is getting on this year on our Golf Betting Tips homepage.