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Friday, 19 March 2010

Our man at Golf Club Houtrak brings you all of the action from behind the scenes at the Dutch Futures.

A helping hand from a Wimbledon champion
Wil Besseling’s week might not be going quite according to plan after a third round 75 so the Dutchman has enlisted the help of a man who knows all about winning – Richard Krajicek, the 1996 Wimbledon men’s singles champion.  Krajicek, who inflicted Pete Sampras’ only defeat at Wimbledon between 1993 and 2000, is caddying for the Besseling in the final round.

The writer’s curse
Typical isn’t it – you slave over a feature (a potential Pulitzer Prize winner if you ask me) comparing the careers of Holland’s only two Amateur Champions (Rolf Muntz - 1990) and new kid on the block (Reinier Saxton – 2008) only for both of them to miss the cut! It happens so often when a player is the focus of a preview piece or feature that the writer’s curse strikes. Perhaps, on a similar note, I should also not mention who I’ve got in the sweepstake – another sure fire kiss of death if there ever was one!

A twist of fate
It might only be Pro-Am day here in The Netherlands, with the tournament due to start on Thursday, but one fears that things might get a little bit competitive at Golf Club Houtrak before the action has even begun. That is because over in the footballing world, Holland face Scotland tonight in a vital (for Scotland at least) World Cup qualifier, which, in a strange twist of fate, has fallen in the same week as the Dutch Futures. Strange, that is, because our main sponsor here in Halfweg is none other than RBS (The Royal Bank of Scotland) and the promoter is Made in Scotland, a company dreamt up by four professionals over a roaring fire at Loch Lomond Golf Club. With some passionate Scots, and indeed Dutchmen, among the players there could be a camp divide later on we all settle down after the Pro-Am dinner to watch the big game. As a neutral I’m staying out of it – let football be the winner I say!

A family affair
As mentioned above our promoter this week, Made in Scotland, which organises corporate golf days, was born in 1996 at Loch Lomond when the four founding professionals Mauk de Booy, David Burnside, Alan Saddington and Jonas Saxton blended their friendship and love of the game into a golf company. Jonas Saxton is, of course, the father of Challenge Tour professional Reinier who takes his place in the field this week.  Last year Reinier became only the second Dutch professional – 18 years after compatriot Rolf Muntz, who is also in the field this week - to win the Amateur Championship when he triumphed at Turnberry. Since then the 21 year old has turned professional and he will have the advantage of local knowledge this week on the Golf Club Houtrak course that he calls home.  It’s safe to say he would certainly be a popular winner with the local crowd and, of course, the promoter!

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