The European Tour heads for Holland this week and the KLM Open at The Dutch in Spijk. Romain Wattel of France defends against a strong field.

KLM Open Leaderboard, Preview, TV Times

The KLM Open will be held this week at The Dutch in Spijk, The Netherlands. Frenchman Romain Wattel will look to defend his title.

Romain Wattel defends the KLM Open and he’s joined on the start list by six further former champions including Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer.

A strong field has assembled to contest this event with other notable entrants including: Matt Wallace, Eddie Pepperell, Andrew “Beef” Johnston, Shubhankar Sharma and Haotong Li.

The Dutch Open was first contested back in 1912 when Englishman George Pannell was victorious. Since then many famous professionals have claimed the title including – J.H Taylor, Bobby Locke, Roberto De Vicenzo, Seve Ballesteros, Bernhard Langer and Colin Montgomerie. This will be the 99th instalment of the tournament. Seve won his first European Tour title in this event back in 1976.

Seve in 1976

Seve in 1976

Last year, Frenchman Romain Wattel won by a shot from fast-finishing Canadian Austin Connelly. For Wattel, it was a maiden European Tour victory in his 187th start on the circuit.

The Dutch is a private members club that opened for play in 2011. Designed by Colin Montgomerie, it’s a modern design that was laid out with championship golf in mind. It’s a tough layout with challenging greens. Those greens are maintained in exceptional condition.

Following a very successful first two editions, the ‘Beat the Pro’ competition is returning for this year’s tournament. The concept was introduced by TIG Sports at the KLM Open in 2016 and was, at the time, a first on the European Tour, and due to its enormous success it is now a fixed feature. Any amateur who manages to hit the ball closer to the hole than the pros wins a KLM flight to a European destination of their choice.

The weather looks reasonable for the tournament. Rain is predicted today and tomorrow and that could leave the course soft and receptive.

Venue: The Dutch, Spijk, The Netherlands
Date: Sep 13-16
Course stats: par 71, 6,983 yards
Purse: €1,800,000
Defending champion: Romain Wattel (-15)

How to watch the KLM Open

TV Coverage:
Thursday 13 – Sky Sports Golf red button from 10.30am
Friday 14 – Sky Sports Golf red button from 10.30am
Saturday 15 – Sky Sports Golf red button from 12pm
Sunday 16 – Sky Sports Golf red button from 12pm

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Players to watch:

Lee Westwood is a former winner

Lee Westwood is a former winner

Lee Westwood – Also tied for third last year, Westwood has threatened to get back into the winners’ circle recently – runner-up in the Made in Denmark.

Nacho Elvira – On solid form and building towards a big result. The Spaniard was fourth in the Omega European Masters.

Eddie Pepperell – He’s been playing well recently having made every cut since the Irish Open, and was tied third in this event last year.

Key holes: The closing three. The 16th is a testing par-3 of 200 yards with water short and left of the putting surface, anything pulled slightly could end up wet. The 17th is then a short but narrow par-4, it may measure only 400 yards but water to the right from the tee, together with a well-placed bunker on the left make the drive an intimidating one. There’s more water by the green, like the 16th it’s on the left side. The 18th is a monster par-5 that can be stretched to almost 650 yards – a real three-shotter with water threatening down the right side.