Paul Williams

Paul Williams' KLM Open Tips 2019

Get Paul's previews as soon as they're published @golfbetting Follow Now

A profitable week for us in Hamburg with 100/1 shot Guido Migliozzi delivering a full each-way return with the additional places that were available, however a tie for 7th was still a little disappointing in truth. Right in touch heading into the back-9 on Saturday, the young Italian missed a short par putt on the 10th before making a mess of one of the more scoreable par-5s on the course – eventually carding an 8 – which ultimately left him with too much to do on the Sunday, despite a promising front 9. He’s a talented sort though who will warrant further support in the future and one who I’ll be keeping a close eye on as we move forward.

Holland is our next stop on the European Tour as we head towards a series of decent events with qualification for Dubai looming and four further Rolex Series events before we reach that point, plus Ryder Cup qualifying starts next week at Wentworth as players attempt to make Padraig Harrington’s team.

A new venue in Amsterdam, The International, plays host to this event for the first time this week with a field that’s headed by Patrick Reed at 9/1 as he continues his string of appearances on the European Tour. With the likes of Thomas Pieters, Sergio Garcia, Joost Luiten, Matt Wallace and Martin Kaymer also in attendance, this should be a good warm-up ahead of next week’s BMW PGA Championship where the field strength really starts to ramp up.

KLM Open – Featured Bookmaker: betfair

Betfair Sportsbook are attacking this week’s KLM Open and are offering a record-breaking 8 places each-way at 1/5 odds. 8 places each-way at this event has never been chalked-up before and with strong prices to boot. If you haven’t already got a Betfair Sportsbook account then new customers can access their up to £100 in Free Bets promotion. 18+, T&Cs apply: Promo code ZBBC01 required –use this qualifying link to claim.

  • New account offer – significant terms: Place 5 x £10 or more bets to receive £20 in free bets. Repeat up to 5 times to receive maximum £100 bonus. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). Exchange bets excluded. T&Cs apply. 18+|Gamble Aware.

Course Overview. Having flitted between Kennemer and Hilversumche since the millennium, and then at The Dutch for the past three years, the KLM Open heads to pastures new this year as The International, which sits next to Amsterdam airport, plays host to this event for the first time.

Opened in 2012 and designed by Ian Woosnam, the course is listed as a Par 73 at just 6,966 yards with 5 par-5s on the course of between 506 and 559 yards. Knowing how the European Tour like to throw a late curveball at us punters, particularly at new venues, I’ll take those exact metrics with a pinch of salt, however it’s clearly not a punishingly long track like last week in Hamburg which should appeal to a wider spectrum of players.

An exposed, undulating course with wide fairways and large bentgrass greens, strategy over brute power would appear to be the best way to attack this layout with carefully placed tee shots which enable accurate approaches to the correct parts of greens the most likely way to score consistently well. Rough is long and thick in places for those venturing off of the straight and narrow and whilst the par-5s will undoubtedly produce birdies and eagles given their dimensions, that will be best achieved from off the fairway.

As ever with short, exposed tracks, the elements are the course’s best defence and a fairly benign forecast should encourage some low scores. With no European Tour history to fall back on, the only real clues we have are from two Dutch Senior Opens held here, won by Simon Brown at 3-under in 2013 (final leaderboard here) and course designer Ian Woosnam at 11-under in 2014 (final leaderboard here). Both events were wind and weather-affected with the 2013 event eventually reduced to 36 holes, however this year’s forecast is much, much better so I expect scoring will be better.

Tournament Stats. We’ve published some key player statistics for this week’s KLM Open, however it’s worth noting that this year’s event is the first one being held at The International: Current Form | Tournament Form | First Round Leader Stats | Top 20 Finishes | Combined Stats.

Predictor Model. Our published Predictor Model is available here. As always you can build your own model using the variables available.

Winners & Prices. 2018: Ashun Wu, 125/1; 2017: Romain Wattel, 175/1; 2016: Joost Luiten, 18/1; 2015: Thomas Pieters, 55/1; 2014: Paul Casey, 25/1; 2013: Joost Luiten, 20/1; 2012: Peter Hanson, 22/1; 2011: Simon Dyson, 25/1; 2010: Martin Kaymer, 12/1.

Weather Forecast. The latest weather forecast for the area is here. Largely dry and sunny conditions are expected for the 4 days of tournament play with temperatures approaching 70 Fahrenheit. Winds are forecast to peak on the opening day at around 15mph before dropping away to a maximum of 10mph by the weekend.

Incoming Form: Ashun Wu’s patchy season had taken a positive step the week before he obliged for us here last year at 125/1, having finished 6th the week before at Crans-sur-Sierre; Wattel was having a poor season before capturing his maiden European Tour title in 2017 and 175/1 was indicative of the year he was having which, until that point, had seen no finish better than 24th on Tour; Luiten had twice finished runner-up earlier that season and 33rd at the US PGA and 27th at the Olympics was clearly strong form relative to the field here; Pieters had won a fortnight before, gaining his maiden European Tour victory in the Czech Republic; Casey had been playing predominantly in the USA and back-to-back top-22 finishes in higher company.

Luiten in 2013 had won the Lyoness Open earlier in the summer and Peter Hanson had finished 3rd at Augusta that season. Simon Dyson had won the Irish Open 5 events before capturing his 3rd KLM Open title in 2011 and Martin Kaymer’s 4 stroke victory in 2010 was his first start since winning the US PGA Championship at Whistling Straits:

  • 2018, Ashun Wu: MC/64/60/47/MC/DQ/MC/11/MC/MC/49/6
  • 2017, Romain Wattel: 24/31/66/MC/51/MC/MC/26/MC/33/MC/65
  • 2016, Joost Luiten: 2/2/44/MC/27/6/16/9/MC/MC/33/27
  • 2015, Thomas Pieters: MC/18/33/MC/MC/24/39/MC/60/33/35/1
  • 2014, Paul Casey: 16/MC/13/24/56/33/22/14/47/MC/18/22
  • 2013, Joost Luiten: 15/21/8/MC/11/1/10/2/49/MC/4/44
  • 2012, Peter Hanson: 14/52/15/17/3/MC/61/23/63/7/59
  • 2011, Simon Dyson: 5/3/20/MC/MC/25/9/1/33/51/15/16
  • 2010, Martin Kaymer: MC/34/MC/28/12/8/21/6/MC/7/22/1

Event Form. Last year’s winner Ashun Wu had fairly non-descript event form before winning, however he’d sat in 6th position going into the weekend the year before to give some indication that he was comfortable on the course and in the area. 2017 winner Romain Wattel had missed the cut at The Dutch on his previous attempt, however a 5th place finish at Kennemer in 2014 masks the fact that he led by 3 shots going into the final round before stumbling to a closing 74. 2016 winner Joost Luiten won this event for the 2nd time having previously triumphed in 2013, whereas 2011 winner Simon Dyson has notched 3 KLM Open successes over his career.

  • 2018, Ashun Wu: 46/31
  • 2017, Romain Wattel: MC/MC/MC/5/MC/MC
  • 2016, Joost Luiten: MC/MC/2/MC/MC/57/6/MC/1/5/23
  • 2015, Thomas Pieters: 30/22
  • 2014, Paul Casey: 46/41
  • 2013, Joost Luiten: MC/MC/2/MC/MC/57/6/MC
  • 2012, Peter Hanson: 28/MC
  • 2011, Simon Dyson: 60/1/27/12/1/MC
  • 2010, Martin Kaymer: 55

With no tangible course form to go on this week, we’re relying on the specification mostly. The International was described as a tough track when the Seniors tackled it twice a few years back and with a bit of wind I suspect that’s true, however aside from a moderately breezy Thursday I don’t see enough wind in the forecast to make this overly tricky. A short layout that demands a variety of shots is likely to suit players who can either strategise and avoid the trouble in the first place with a metronomic game, or have an exceptional short game to recover on and around these large greens.

My selections are as follows:

Romain Wattel 1.5pts EW 80/1 (8EW, 1/5) with Betfair

A step into the unknown can often act as a leveller in golf and with no guarantee that the market principals are likely to take to The International on their competitive debuts, I’m happy to take a more speculative approach this week with former KLM Open winner Romain Wattel heading my team.

KLM form of 1st, 5th and 6 missed cuts scattered in-between tells us that it’s very much hit or miss for the Frenchman when he ventures north-east to Holland, however there are enough signs of late that he might be about to produce one of his big weeks here as opposed to catching an early flight.

20th at the Scottish Open saw the 28 year-old lead after the first round with a sparkling 63 and although he couldn’t continue that form for the remainder of the event, it came after a wretched spell of form that had seen him miss 12 out of 13 cuts. A new coach leading to a rebuilt swing were the chief reasons that he’d been struggling, however that was as good a sign as any that progress was bring made.

14th on his next start in Prague provided further positivity and after another couple of blanks he recorded his best finish for over a year last week when scything his way through the field with a weekend 67/64 to finish up in 6th position and really get the momentum flowing ahead of his return to the Netherlands.

The Montpellier man’s 2017 victory at The Dutch is still his one and only European Tour success, however when he’s swinging well he’s much more capable than that and Total Driving of 7th, Ball Striking of 4th and GIR of 5th last week tells us that he’s back in the groove with his long game.

The green light for me though was that he ranked 6th for putting last week – his best position on that stat for nearly 18 months – and that could spell imminent success as we saw his solitary win 2 years ago come immediately after a similar spike in putting form the week before.

✅ Up to £100 in free bets for new customers using code ZBBC01 and this qualifying link
✅ Bet on Betfair fixed odds sportsbook or Betfair Exchange from a single account
✅ Offered 10 places each-way 1/5 odds at all 4 Majors in 2019

Betfair New Customer Offer: Place 5 x £10 or more bets to receive £20 in free bets. Repeat up to 5 times to receive maximum £100 bonus. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). Exchange bets excluded. T&Cs apply.

Jamie Donaldson 1pt EW 100/1 (6EW, 1/5) with Betfred

Another player who’s caught my eye recently is 2014 Ryder Cup star Jamie Donaldson. At his peak the Welshman was a solid top-50 OWGR player, reaching 23rd in the world shortly after hitting the winning shot at Gleneagles, and looked to be going places having secured his PGA Tour with 3 European Tour titles in his back pocket. Fairytales are rare in golf though and a loss of form, a nasty chainsaw injury and then surgery on his wrist at the end of last year have curtailed his progress and he eventually dropped out of the world’s top 1,000 when he returned to action earlier this year.

He revealed in interview at the Scottish Open that he still hadn’t been 100% since his wrist operation and that he was still working through some swing tweaks, however the ongoing recovery and process changes appeared to be converging towards something positive as he opened with a 64 and sat in 5th place after a Saturday 65, eventually finishing 9th and hitting over 86% GIR over the 4 days. Further strides in Sweden where a Saturday 63 helped him along to a top-5 finish and he opened with 65 at Crans on his last start before dropping away, with some positive signs with his short game on a tough scrambling track.

Until he started on his downward spiral, Holland had always been a positive country for the 43 year-old. 4th in 2003 and 5th in 2009 at this event bode well and up until 2015 he boasted a 100% cuts made record at the KLM Open. With his game seemingly on the ascendancy once again, I can see him making the frame at a big price.

✅ Bet £10 Get £30 PLUS 30 free spins for new customers using code SPORTS60 and this qualifying link
✅ Odds compiler takes a different view of many events meaning value can be found
✅ Offered 8 places each-way 1/5 odds at the 2019 US Open & Open Championship

Betfred New Customer Offer: Only available to new customers from UK & Northern Ireland. You must stake £10 or more at single/cumulative odds of Evens (2.0) or greater on your first bet. Free bet balance of £30 credited within 48 hours of your first bet being settled. Free Bets expire after 7 days. E-Wallet restrictions apply. Minimum 5 game rounds. Game restrictions apply. Maximum 30 Free Spins on selected games. Free Spins expire after 7 days. Full T&Cs apply.

Ashley Chesters 1pt EW 100/1 (8EW, 1/5) with Betfair

As I stated in the preamble, I suspect that either metronomic types or short game wizards can both compete at The International and Ashley Chesters falls firmly into the first category which should help him keep out of the worst of the trouble here in Amsterdam and help him to hit as many greens as possible.

5th for Driving Accuracy on the European Tour for the season to date and 19th for GIR tells us everything we need to know about the Shrewsbury man’s and we’ve seen more evidence of his game’s strength over the past couple of weeks. A tailed-off 72nd at Crans still saw the 30 year-old lead the field for Driving Accuracy and an improved GIR display last week in Germany saw his finishing position improve massively to 9th place. What was really impressive in Hamburg though was that Ashley ranked 3rd for Putting Average at 1.63 Putts Per GIR – his best recorded putting performance since he turned professional – and for a player like him that’s got to rank as significant.

Form in Holland reads 60/28 which, like last year’s winner Ashun Wu, isn’t likely to catch the eye at first glance. Again like Wu, if you scratch the surface though then you’ll find that he was 3rd after day 1 last year and top-10 heading into the weekend. A different track this week, granted, however with his long game in typically strong form and his putter on fire (in relative terms!) then this track could present Chesters with his best chance yet of breaking through at European Tour level.

✅ Up to £100 in free bets for new customers using code ZBBC01 and this qualifying link
✅ Bet on Betfair fixed odds sportsbook or Betfair Exchange from a single account
✅ Offered 10 places each-way 1/5 odds at all 4 Majors in 2019

Betfair New Customer Offer: Place 5 x £10 or more bets to receive £20 in free bets. Repeat up to 5 times to receive maximum £100 bonus. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). Exchange bets excluded. T&Cs apply.

Padraig Harrington 1pt EW 125/1 (6EW, 1/5) with Betfred

The real work for Padraig Harrington begins next week at Wentworth when his year-long task of forming his 12-man Ryder Cup for next year’s trip to Whistling Straits begins. It’s been noticeable with Ryder Cup captains both sides of the pond in recent times that their tournament form drops off significantly as they focus on the job at hand, however with the pressure completely off this week I wouldn’t be remotely surprised to see a free-wheeling Harrington in contention in Amsterdam.

Back in the earlier days of his career, Holland was a fairly happy hunting ground for the Irishman, finishing 9th and 3rd at the Dutch Open in 2001 and 2002 and being in with a decent chance both times. The event fell off of his schedule as his career developed and his focus lay on the bigger events and overseas, however he reminded us once again last year that he’s well capable of competing with the younger men on the European Tour when he finished 5th at the Dutch, which came nearly a year after he’d lifted the Portugal Masters trophy after an 8-year dry spell.

Back to the present day and the 48 year-old isn’t the most consistent – hence his price – missing his last 11 of 15 cuts globally, however there was enough of a spark last week when finishing 12th in Hamburg to take a chance on him this week. We saw first hand with that Portugal Masters win that he should still be respected at this kind of grade, and with his all-round game in decent shape last week and all the focus coming from next week onwards, perhaps he can show everyone that he’s still competitive.

✅ Bet £10 Get £30 PLUS 30 free spins for new customers using code SPORTS60 and this qualifying link
✅ Odds compiler takes a different view of many events meaning value can be found
✅ Offered 8 places each-way 1/5 odds at the 2019 US Open & Open Championship

Betfred New Customer Offer: Only available to new customers from UK & Northern Ireland. You must stake £10 or more at single/cumulative odds of Evens (2.0) or greater on your first bet. Free bet balance of £30 credited within 48 hours of your first bet being settled. Free Bets expire after 7 days. E-Wallet restrictions apply. Minimum 5 game rounds. Game restrictions apply. Maximum 30 Free Spins on selected games. Free Spins expire after 7 days. Full T&Cs apply.

Matthew Nixon 0.5pt EW 400/1 (8EW, 1/5) with Betfair

Finally I’m going for a small punt on rank outsider Matthew Nixon. The Manchester man isn’t blessed with the power from off the tee like many of his peers, instead he relies on his normally accurate tee-to-green game to get him through. 2019 has been a struggle though and with no top-10 finishes recorded since last October he sits outside the top-200 in the Race to Dubai – with time starting to run out this season, his playing rights are very much on the line.

As ever, when push comes to shove, some players find something in their games that enable them to find that big result that makes all the difference to their rankings and, ultimately, their playing status. 58th in Prague might not sound impressive, however a Friday 67 was amongst the best rounds of the day on a track that’s too long for him, putting him in the top-15 at the time before he dropped away. A weekend pair of 66s the following week in Sweden also hinted at more to come from the 30 year-old and despite missing the cut last week in Germany, his 2nd round 68 was again one of the better recorded efforts on the day on another track that’s a little too long for his game.

The dimensions of The International here in Amsterdam should be much more to Nixon’s liking in an event where he’s recorded two top-20 finishes in his last 4 attempts. Perhaps the idea of him winning his maiden European Tour title here this week at a huge price is a little fanciful, however with additional places on offer and his requirement to perform well soon growing by the week, perhaps he can sneak an each-way place.

✅ Up to £100 in free bets for new customers using code ZBBC01 and this qualifying link
✅ Bet on Betfair fixed odds sportsbook or Betfair Exchange from a single account
✅ Offered 10 places each-way 1/5 odds at all 4 Majors in 2019

Betfair New Customer Offer: Place 5 x £10 or more bets to receive £20 in free bets. Repeat up to 5 times to receive maximum £100 bonus. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). Exchange bets excluded. T&Cs apply.

Odds and bookmaker offers correct at 17:30BST 9.9.19 but naturally subject to fluctuation.