The European Tour arrives at Bernardus Golf for the Dutch Open. Here are your five things to know.
Return of the Dutch Open
The Dutch Open was one of only six tournaments to have been played every season since the European Tour began in 1972 prior to last year’s cancellation due to Covid-19.
The historic event returns this year to a new venue, and with defending champion Sergio Garcia absent ahead of next week's Ryder Cup, we are guaranteed a new winner at Bernardus Golf. Since the first edition in 1912, there have been 75 winners from 18 different countries.
Bernardus will be the ninth different venue to host the Dutch Open since its first outing on the European Tour in 1972.
Opening in 2018, the heathland course was design by Kyle Phillips, who also designed Kingsbarns, The Grove and Yas Links. The 7,425 yard par 72 features numerous bunkers and water hazards, and will also be the host of next year’s tournament.
Home advantage for Luiten
Experience on a golf course that hasn’t yet featured on the European Tour is definitely an advantage, and in this case the advantage belongs to Joost Luiten, whose home club happens to be Bernardus Golf.
“I practice here a lot,” said Luiten, who has played in this event every year since 2005, which he has coupled with an incredible record – including two victories and three top tens in his last eight starts.
“It’s one of the best practice facilities we have in Holland so a lot of the top players and even the Belgian players Thomas Pieters and Thomas Detry come over to practice here and I think that will tell you how good this golf course is. It needs a bit of time to mature up but that’s just the grass, you can’t really make that go quicker but it’s a great design, it’s in great shape, and hopefully we keep this weather and it will be a great week.
“I know what I can do in this event, I love playing in front of my home crowd, I love the golf course so it will be a good week and hopefully we can do what we’ve done in the past and be there on Sunday.”
Seve’s teenage triumph
Severiano Ballesteros, one of those 75 different Dutch Open champions, earned his first European Tour win during the 1976 Dutch Open.
Aged just 19 years and 121 days old, the Spaniard dominated in the Netherlands, sealing an eight-shot victory and setting the tone for a remarkable European Tour career, where he collected an incredible 50 tournament victories, which is more than any other player in Tour history.
Impressive list of champions
This year marks the 101st edition of the Dutch Open, which dates back to 1912, and boasts an impressive list of former champions.
In addition to Seve’s first triumph, the Dutch Open roll of honour as an event on the European Tour also includes Bernhard Langer, José María Olazábal, Payne Stewart, Miguel Ángel Jiménez, Colin Montgomerie, Martin Kaymer, Paul Casey, Lee Westwood and most recently Sergio Garcia.
This week, there are five former champions in the field. Joining Luiten are 2015 winner Thomas Pieters (2015), Romain Wattel (2017), Peter Hansen (2012) and Gonzalo Fdez-Castano (2005).