As one of only five ever-present tournaments on the DP World Tour schedule since its inception in 1972, the KLM Open is steeped in history and has played host to many memorable moments over the years.
This year marks the 103rd edition of a tournament that was first staged in 1912 and is being hosted at Bernardus Golf in Cromvoirt for the third year running.
With four of the top ten in the Race to Dubai Rankings in Partnership with Rolex in action this week, the popular event in the Dutch sports calendar is once again expected to provide great intrigue as players vie to etch their name on the trophy.
From European greats Seve Ballesteros and Bernhard Langer to home favourite Joost Luiten among a host of more recent winners, the Dutch Open has witnessed some great storylines.
Here, we spotlight some of those from the tournament’s 51-year history as part of the DP World Tour.
Seve’s teenage triumph
We begin our trip back down memory lane with a true legend of the European game. Aged just 19 years and 121 days old, Seve Ballesteros stormed to his first DP World Tour title with an eight-shot victory in 1976 at Kennemer Golf & Country Club. It set the tone for a stellar career, in which he claimed a record 50 DP World Tour wins. Of those, three were at the Dutch Open as he went on to win the tournament on two further occasions. In 1980, he beat Ryder Cup teammate Sandy Lyle and then six years later he won it for a third time with another dominant eight-shot success.
Montgomerie victory start of hugely successful spell
Five years after first establishing himself as one to watch by claiming the Rookie of the Year Award, Colin Montgomerie ended a two-year wait for his third DP World Tour title in the Netherlands in 1993. After two runner-up finishes in the first half of the season, the Scot finished one shot ahead of José Cóceres and Jean van de Velde to taste success. It was the first of two wins that year as he claimed the season-ending Volvo Masters to top the Order of Merit for the first of seven consecutive times.
Dyson’s Dutch love affair
Over a five-year spell between 2006 and 2011, one player became synonymous with the Dutch Open. Already a DP World Tour winner for the first time earlier that season in Indonesia, Simon Dyson claimed the first of three titles at the event in 2006 as he beat Australia’s Richard Green in a play-off. He returned to Kennemer to win for a second time three years later, once again requiring extra holes to overcome Swede Peter Hedblom and Ireland’s Peter Lawrie. A change in venue to Hilversumsche proved no obstacle to Dyson joining European greats Ballesteros and Langer as a three-time winner as he birdied four of his last seven holes to beat countryman David Lynn, the 2004 champion, in 2011.
Home delight as Luiten wins not once but twice
Joost Luiten delighted the home fans as he became just the second Dutch player to win their national open in 2011. A decade after Maarten Lefeber became the first home winner of the event in the DP World Tour era, Luiten overcame Miguel Ángel Jiménez in a play-off at Kennemer. It was his second win of the 2013 season and third of his DP World Tour career. He would go on to lift the trophy for a second time in front of packed galleries at The Dutch in Spijk as a course-record equalling 63 in the final round saw him hold off Bernd Wiesberger to end a two-year winless run.
‘Just a bit of magic’ – Perez denies Fox with hot putting streak
The most recent edition of this storied tournament enjoyed perhaps one of its most dramatic conclusions as Victor Perez claimed what was then his second DP World Tour title. A birdie on the fourth extra hole of a sudden-death play-off proved decisive against a stunned Ryan Fox, who had led by three strokes through 14 holes of the final round. After holing a 35-footer to draw level with New Zealander Fox who was playing two groups ahead and finished with a costly double bogey, Perez made three further long-range putts in the play-off to seal a remarkable triumph.