Winner’s Share – €250,000
Last year we had a week off in Europe to consolidate following a hectic few weeks of majors and big tournaments – this year, we’re off to Denmark.
Scandinavian golf is on the up and there are plenty of fresh, young players emerging from the area. So it’s great to have an event over there. Not since 2003, when Ian Poulter won, has the European Tour ventured over to Denmark.
The course at the Himmerland Golf and Spa Resort is an inland, links-style track that plays just over 7,000 yards. From what we can gauge, accuracy will be crucial with brutal rough and quick, undulating greens. It could be a proper grind out there! Look for solid drivers of the ball who have good wedge and short games. Experience on links is needed.
This is Lucas Bjerregaard’s home track, so watch out for him.
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Marc Warren (30/1 BetFred)
The Scot has really impressed us in recent times and after a 3rd at the Scottish Open, T39 at the Open and then a top15 at Valhalla last week, he is a man in form.
His links experience is a given having won at the links-style Gleneagles in 2007 on the back of his first European Tour win in Sweden – so he likes it in Scandinavia. He’s been driving and putting consistently of late and was 6th in putting back at the Open. At 30/1 with the likes of Broberg and Olesen at 20’s, we see that as a good price.
David Howell (55/1 BetFred)
We’ve seen good performances of late from the English stalwart. Ranked 16th driving accuracy and 3rd GIR back at the Open. That was after ranking in the top 20 for driving and putting at the Scottish Open.
Only recorded one top 10 in recent times but 15th at the Open will fill him with lots of confidence coming to a course like this. His last win came at the Alfred Dunhill Links last year – confirming his links prowess. 55/1 again represents good value in this field.
Søren Kjeldsen (80/1 Coral)
We can’t come to Denmark without having one of the locals on our radar. Kjeldsen was solid in 2013, especially around the links courses but 2014 has been somewhat of a disappointment. Despite a MC over in Russia, his T18 in France and solid showing in Scotland gives us enough confidence that he can combine that with the buzz of his home crowd to do well.
The Dane was 12th driving accuracy and 15th putting in Scotland whilst he was 1st driving accuracy and 6th GIR over in France. So he is striking the ball well and at 80/1 for a local favourite, we’re happy to go there.
Maximilian Kieffer (66/1 Paddy Power)
We can see a big future for this guy and if his Challenge Tour career is anything to go by, he likes to get on a hot streak. 2013 was very inconsistent but this year, with two top 10’s in recent times, we have started to see glimpses of his immense ability.
He is known for being a bigger hitter but in Russia he managed to combine that length with accuracy too, finding over 90% of fairways. But that tournament was a case of absolutely no putts being sunk. With his driving ability, his game is perfectly suited for links-style golf.
Craig Lee (100/1 Ladbrokes)
The Scot’s game is really well suited to this type of golf but is one of those players who only occasionally contends at the top. Of late, his driving has been solid and ranked in the top 10 for accuracy on the way to T16 finish at the Scottish Open. Likewise in Russia, he drove the ball well but struggled finding the greens. Amazingly, it is ironplay in adverse conditions that first drew our attention to him! So with a few tweaks on the range, Craig’s game is nearly there. He’s finding fairways and holing putts, just needs to up those GIR and he will be up there this week.
Jamie McLeary (500/1 BoyleSports) (TOP 20 16/1 Paddy Power)
Why not at this price. Showed glimpses of solid play at both the Russian and British Opens. Around Hoylake he ranked T20 driving accuracy and T36 in 1-putts which considering the field, was not bad. He carried that consistency over to Russia and recorded a top 25. Not only did he average over 300 yards but he ranked 15th in driving accuracy. The putter it appears lets him down but if that gets hot, we’ve got some cracking value here.
Let us know your thoughts on our selections and who you fancy this week! @DownThe18th