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Luiten not feeling the pressure as he bids for home hat-trick

Luiten not feeling the pressure as he bids for home hat-trick

Home favourite Joost Luiten admits there is expectation on him this week but insists he will not be putting any extra pressure on himself as he looks for a third title at the Dutch Open.

Joost Luiten

The 36-year-old is a six-time winner on the DP World Tour, claiming the trophy in his national open in 2013 and 2016, with further victories coming in Malaysia, Austria, Wales and Oman.

His first home victory came in dramatic style as he defeated Miguel Ángel Jiménez in a play-off, while his second came at a canter as he claimed a three-shot triumph in style.

And while Luiten himself admits his form in 2022 does not see him come in as a favourite, he is certainly not ruling out making it a hat-trick at Bernardus Golf.

"It's always a great event, it's something as a Dutch player that you look forward to," he said. "You've got all your friends coming to support you so there's a bit more attention than in tournaments in other countries and it makes it fun.

"I've been lucky to do well in the Dutch Open over the last ten or 15 years since I've been a pro. It creates a bit of expectation among the spectators and it's up to me to show it again.

"You never know before a week, everybody asks 'are you going to win again?'. It's golf, you don't know. You hope you're going to win and you do your best and I've been lucky to do it twice.

"When I won in 2016, I didn't expect to play well that week, I was struggling going into that week and all of a sudden, with the crowd behind me, I went into the zone and I could finish it - that's how crazy this game is. I love playing in front of a crowd.

"I've been playing really bad to be honest, it's one of these weeks where you say you don't expect something but of course I always expect something of myself.

If I play well, great, if I don't play well, I've been there and won it twice so I'll come back next year and do it again

"But if you look at my results over the last two or three months it's not been good, so hopefully that takes off a bit of the pressure.

"If I play well, great, if I don't play well, I've been there and won it twice so I'll come back next year and do it again. I try to take a little bit of the pressure of myself this week."

While Luiten has been the flag-bearer for Dutch golf in recent seasons, the game is very much on the up in the Netherlands, with Wil Besseling and Darius van Driel - who finished in the top five at this event last season - becoming regular fixtures on DP World Tour leaderboards.

"We've got some really good young players," said Luiten. "We've got four players who have a Tour card which for Holland is great, we've only had one or two over the last ten years so to have four shows that golf is moving in the right direction.

"We've got some really young up-and-coming pros: I think Koen Kouwenaar did well last year here in the tournament and he's just won on the Alps Tour so he's playing well. We've got Mats Markovits who just won a pro event recently here in Holland."

Bernardus Golf is playing host to the event for the second consecutive year and Luiten believes the conditions will make it difficult for anyone to match Kristoffer Broberg's 23-under total from last season.

"I think the set-up this year is great," he said. "We learned a lot from last year, it was the first time that they had the Dutch Open so it's always a bit of trial and error. I think they're a bit smarter this year in how to set it up, they know what things are working.

"We have a bit more wind this week that will show the teeth of the golf course a little bit more. Last year was no wind and low scoring but I think this year you'll see some different scores just because of the wind.

"It's just a joy to play this golf course, I think it's one of the best in Holland and it's great to have the best players in Europe playing this week."

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