Miguel Angel Jimenez and Edoardo Molinari surprised a lot of people - me included - last week as they continued their excellent form into yet another tournament. The predictor had them in positions 2 & 6 last week, with top selection Charl Schwartzel finishing in a tie for 5th - proof once again that our statistical model is well worth following!
This week's KLM Open sees the Ryder Cup duo take a deserved rest and an open door for someone else to feature at the top of end of the Leaderboard. There's a great looking field out there to wet the whistle this week, with Major champions Kaymer and Oosthuizen sure to be the main attractions, as well as the in-form defending champion Simon Dyson, plus top quality players of the like of Francesco Molinari, Ross Fisher, Schwartzel, Karlsson and Quiros.
We return to the Hilversumsche Golf Club in Hilversum for the 15th time in the tournament's history, following a 4-year stint at Kennemer G&CC during which time we had 2 wins from Dyson and one apiece from Ross Fisher and Darren Clarke. Don't be fooled into thinking these courses are similar - they are very different! Kennemer is a links course whereas Hilversumsche is a heathland course with far more similarities to the likes of Wentworth. The last player to win on this course was Gonzalo Fernandez Castano, last week's tip who withdrew from the tournament during the second round, and the results from that 2005 event are included in this week's predictor.
Accuracy is rewarded at Hilversumche, as is great putting. Scores can be made but only if you keep the ball out of the trees; however the course is short with 3 par 4s well under 400 yards and the 2 par 5s both under 500 yards and the longer hitters could have a field day if they stay out of trouble.
All things considered, here's my 10 points for the week:
With all the emphasis being on his big brother, it's easy to forget how well Francesco is actually playing at present. Now that Edoardo and Jimenez have stepped aside, it's time for another Ryder Cup player to take over the reigns on a course which should suit him down to the ground.
He's finished inside the top 10 in 4 of his last 7 starts - 2 of his 'misses' were Majors - and his latest effort, a 3rd place at Gleneagles, came after he led going into the final day and he graciously stepped aside as his brother secured his place in Monty's team. With no such issues to consider this week, I'm struggling to oppose him. The setup here won't feel dissimilar to Gleneagles and his 17th place at Wentworth is also noteworthy.
With skinny odds you may prefer to bet win-only on Molinari. If so then don't miss the new account offer from Extrabet as they're DOUBLE the odds of your first bet up to a stake of £25 and they're top priced win-only at 14/1. To get this offer then click here. RESULT: T-8th
Damien McGrane 1pt EW 50/1 Up to £200 in free bets via this link: Bet 365 £215 Free Bets
The most likely competitors to Molinari this week in my opinion are Martin Kaymer and Damien McGrane. I'm not going to back the 2 favourites as there's no real value in that for me, so McGrane gets the nod at a much longer price.
McGrane has a certain affinity with Holland, finishing in the top 10 in this tournament in 50% of his efforts, including 4th last year and 9th on this course back in 2005. 12 cuts made in his last 13 tournaments is an excellent return from the Irishman, 8 of them inside the top 20 to boot. I'd expect to see him in the shake up come Sunday and is a great E/W shout at 50/1 RESULT: T-26th
David Lynn 1pt EW 66/1 Up to £200 in free bets via this link: Bet 365 £215 Free Bets
The big man from the Potteries has started to find a bit of form and returns to the scene of his one and only European Tour victory in 2004 this week with fond memories. Like McGrane, Lynn has 3 top 10s in this event(including T9 here in 2005), including his win, and averages a little over 68.5 for all of his rounds in this event - a cracking record. Consecutive top 20s at Gleneagles and Prosper before fading to 51st last week, his form is fine and his T12 at Celtic Manor is also a positive for me here. RESULT: T-34th
George Coetzee 1pt EW 300/1 Up to £200 in free bets via this link: Bet 365 £215 Free Bets
It's not very often I pick a rank outsider, however at 300/1 (which won't last long - grab it from Bet 365 VERY QUICKLY, other firms are as short as 125/1!) I'm happy to have a speculative punt. The South African produced his best performance of the season at Gleneagles with a tie for 10th position and his long driving and superb putting could well be rewarded if he has a good week with his irons. RESULT: T-57th
Odds and bookmaker offers correct at 21:00BST 7.9.10 but naturally subject to fluctuation.