It was another action packed year of Beat The Pro, an exciting and innovative initiative pioneered by the KLM Open over the last few years.
10. Joost Luiten caddying for young fan
Young Philip van Oosten had entered the amateur versus professional contest – which has been a favourite of players and fans alike since it was introduced at the KLM Open two years ago – thinking he was taking on the prestigious trio of Angel Cabrera, Gonzalo Fernández-Castaño and Alvaro Quiros on the 14th hole at The Dutch. What he got was two-time KLM Open winner and Dutch star Joost Luiten caddying for him.
9. Amateur looks to the heavens
When you sign up for Beat The Pro you always run the risk of making a fool of yourself in front of the players, spectators and millions watching at home. The television slow-mo shows the keen amateur searching high and low for his golf ball which went low and right into the grandstand. For his sake we'll leave this amateur unnamed…
8. Floss away
Young contestant Youp summed up the enthusiasm from all amateurs, fans and players as he “flossed” moments before his shot.
7. Icelandic thunder clap
The European Tour’s social media man on-site Ru Macdonald made the most of his time on the 14th tee as he fired up the crowd with an Icelandic thunder clap, hitting simultaneously as the crowd clapped and cheered.
6. Popping in and out of hospitality
This year’s event had hospitality pavilions lining both sides of the hole, creating a great amphitheatre environment for the players. Amateur Peter Lockhart’s ball made a quick visit to the hospitality pavilion before rebounding out green side, much to the amusement of the commentators.
5. Back-to-back victories
13 year old Matthias returned this year to face off against third round leader Chris Wood, a player he knew well from last year’s event. Matthias had beaten Wood in 2017 and the same fate happened to the eventual tournament runner-up again. Back-to-back wins, the amateurs go two up!
4. Sad face, happy amateur
Despite hitting one of the closest shots by an amateur, Bart de Jong’s effort to six feet wasn’t enough to beat the Pros. As the marshal waves the red “sad face” sign to indicate a failed amateur attempt the commentators rightly point out that Bart can be delighted with his effort.
3. Amazing swing
Eight-year-old Dean Janssens put social media into a frenzy with his amazing effort on Thursday afternoon. Despite his attempt hitting the green and narrowly losing to his professionals, television slow motion replays of his swing had commentators comparing his action to Dustin Johnson. His swing has now been viewed over 200,000 times across the European Tour’s social media channels with fans eager to see how his golf progresses in years to come.
2. Beat The Pro Stinger
Captured beautifully by the Top Tracer camera, Ludmilla de Jong’s effort pipped her playing partners. As a result she wins herself two flights to anywhere in Europe courtesy of the sponsor KLM. As the old golf saying goes “there’s no pictures on the scorecard”.
1. Anything you can do…
…This amateur can do better. Despite his playing partners hitting impressive shots adjacent to the 14th flag, Senna’s amazing shot to six feet was met with surprise cheers from the noisy Dutch supporters that had congregated around the 14th green.
Here is to more of #BeatThePro again next year!