The Race to Dubai heads to The Netherlands for the return of the Dutch Open. But who is likely to contend, and who will be crowned champion? Read on below to find out who our experts think.
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Our expert picks will be brought to you every week by Sky Sports Presenter Kit Alexander and former Ladies European Tour player, coach and presenter Sophie Walker. The duo also co-host their own weekly Fantasy Golf Youtube Channel.
The 25-year-old wasn’t guaranteed to keep his card a few weeks ago but a run of T16-T9-T50-T12-T9 has catapulted him to 78th in the Race to Dubai. The top-10 in a stacked field at BMW PGA Championship bodes well heading to a weaker field this week on a heathland-style course that will look and play reasonably similarly to Wentworth. He’s a two-time European Tour winner so he knows how to finish if he gets into contention.
The big South African won on home soil at the Sunshine Tour Invitational last week. It had been coming after eight top-20s in nine starts on the European Tour this year. That impressive form has been underpinned by being inside the top 14 in stroke average (1st), birdies (2nd), eagles (9th), par-5 scoring (1st), ‘strokes gained - tee to green’ (9th), ‘strokes gained - around the green’ (12th) and ‘strokes gained - putting’ (14th).
The Challenge Tour’s Road to Mallorca leader has been in magnificent form on the second tier with two wins, a runner-up and six more top-6s. He’s shown he’s ready to make the step up with a T15 at the ISPS Handa World Invitational and a 3rd at the Hero Open a few weeks ago. He finished T2 on the Challenge Tour last week to move to a career-high of 90 in the world rankings.
The Belgian recorded his second top 10 of the year last week at the BMW PGA. He is currently 69th in the Race to Dubai standings so needs to finish the season well to tee it up around the Earth course. His driving stats are as good as past successful years, he just needs to find a few more greens and putts which he did at Wentworth. The 29 year olds is a past champion of this event so will have some good feelings returning to Holland.
The Dutchman is a master on home soil, winning the Dutch Open twice and recording a runners up. Luiten has won six times on the European Tour due to his excellent approach play. This year he ranks 14th in Greens in Regulation but his form has been in peaks and troughs. With two top 20's and a 35th recently I believe the 35 year old is hitting a high just in time for his favourite event of the year.
Whenever I back Thomas Pieters to play well I always think about Detry also. Same name, country and style. The Belgian came so close at the Scottish Open in July. A 2nd places has shot him up to 27th on the Race to Dubai. Bernardus GC is wide off the tee and has sand based turf, very similar to Renaissance GC. Detry has enjoyed success at this event before with a T3rd 2018. A different course but it shows he enjoys Holland and history suggests there is normally a European winner of the Dutch Open