Printer Friendly

Big-hitting Belgian could be the answer to Dutch dilemma.

Champion's top tip Nicolas Colsaerts 40-1 The bulk of the media attention will be on Thomas Pieters this week after Darren Clarke handed the 24-year-old Belgian a wildcard for the Ryder Cup, which begins on September 30.

Pieters, who won the Made In Denmark tournament to book his flight to Hazeltine, is the 9-1 favourite to defend his KLM crown but it could be a compatriot with Ryder Cup pedigree who shines in Spijk this week.

Nicolas Colsaerts lit up the opening day in Medinah in 2012 when, as a rookie, he made eight birdies and an eagle in an afternoon fourball as he and Lee Westwood defeated Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker.

It has not been plain sailing for the big Belgian since then - he is without a victory since 2012 - but recent performances suggest he is getting back to somewhere near his best and he could prove overpriced.

Colsaerts is ranked tenth on the European Tour for greens in regulation this season - second among the golfers competing this week - and has recorded top-five finishes this season at the Mauritius Open, the Nordea Masters, and perhaps most crucially the Scottish Open where he carded 66s on Saturday and Sunday to move into the places.

He will also draw encouragement from a closing 65 at the European Masters at Crans-sur-Sierre last weekend.

The flatstick has been an issue for the 33-year-old but his putting stats have improved throughout the season and his average putts per round are as low as they have been at any time since 2012. Long-driving Colsaerts should enjoy the four par-fives and if he produces his best then he deserves to be nearer the front of the market.

Next best Romain Langasque 50-1 Impressive young Frenchman Romain Langasque is being shown plenty of respect by bookmakers but that should not deter punters from taking a chance on the talented 21-yearold.

Langasque won the 2015 Amatuer Open Championship at Carnoustie and followed up by making the cut at the Open at St Andrews a month later. He offered a reminder of his considerable ability earlier this year with a closing 68 at Augusta National as he finished in the top 40 on his Masters debut.

The youngster has been learning his craft predominantly on the Challenge Tour this season - he second in the Road to Oman Rankings - but he went well in tough conditions at the French Open and reappeared at Cranssur-Sierre last week to earn his first top-ten finish.

The powerful Frenchman, who turned professional after Augusta, is likely to be contesting for tournament wins sooner rather than later and he can be backed to strike early in Holland.

Other selections Callum Shinkwin 80-1 David Drysdale 125-1 Englishmen have a great record in the KLM. Paul Casey won in 2014, Simon Dyson has lifted the trophy three times and Ross Fisher, David Lynn and Lee Westwood have all tasted success on Dutch soil.

With that in mind, it may be worth siding with Callum Shinkwin, who is chasing his first European Tour title.

The 23-year-old from Watford hit form in July with top-ten finishes at the French Open and the Scottish Open. His closing 65 at Castle Stuart was particularly impressive and after a quiet August he shot three rounds in the 60s at Crans before a final-round 74 scuppered his chance of another top-ten finish.

David Drysdale was tied 12th in Switzerland last week and the Scot could also enjoy himself around The Dutch.

Drysdale has hit 74.4 per cent of greens in regulation this season - a figure that any European Tour member would be pleased with - and he is another who went well at Castle Stuart. He could outrun his treble-figure price.

Other notables Pieters is joined by Alex Noren at the head of the betting and the Swede, who has roared back to form with victories at the Scottish Open as well as last week's event, is sure to go well again this week, although that is reflected in his price.

Home favourite Joost Luiten won the KLM in 2013 and he spent last week practicing at the Dutch before taking part in a six-hole charity match with Pieters on Monday. He will certainly have his backers but his form on links courses this year is concerning.

Byeong-hun An returns to the European Tour for the first time since failing to defend his BMW PGA Championship title at Wentworth and his form has to be a worry.

Pieters' fellow Ryder Cup teammate Chris Wood will also enjoy being in the spotlight as he searches for his best form heading towards the Hazeltine showpiece.

Recommendation N Colsaerts 2pts each-way 40-1 Boyles, Hills, Lads R Langasque 2pts each-way 50-1 general C Shinkwin 1pt each-way 80-1 general D Drysdale 1pt each-way 125-1 general
COPYRIGHT 2016 MGN LTD
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2016 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Sep 7, 2016
Words:798
Previous Article:Castle looks rock-solid for another Posh success.
Next Article:Top ten in line for GWA award.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters