After a week off for the USPGA Championship, the European Tour returns this week with one of its better stops as the Made in Denmark takes place once again. This relatively new tournament already has some illustrious winners and a decent field will be hoping to add their name to the list.
Matt Wallace is the latest of those names having won the title last year and he returns to attempt to make a successful defence, albeit he will do so on a different course to the one which he won around.
2018 – Matt Wallace
2017 – Julian Suri
2016 – Thomas Pieters
2015 – David Horsey
2014 – Marc Warren
We are back at the wonderful Himmerland Spa and Golf Resort this week, the scene of the first four renewals of this event. The highlight of this course is the 16th, a tiny par 3 where an enormous crowd gathers to ramp up the pressure on those teeing it up 100 or so yards away.
The course is a par 71 which only stretches to 6,881 yards so you don’t have to be a brutal hitter to get round here. You do need to be an accurate one though as the rough has been unmaintained and is said to be consistent and juicy. Therefore finding the fairways will be huge. The course is exposed, undulating and has a number of hazards dotted around. A look through the previous runnings of this event suggests the best putters tend to come to the fore, which makes sense on these large sloping greens.
When you consider that we are in the middle of major season the field this week is not the worst one it has to be said. It is highlighted by the defending champion, the man who ran hot at Bethpage Black last week in Matt Wallace although the likes of Thomas Pieters, Lee Westwood, Andy Sullivan and Victor Dubuisson add star name to it.
There is a very strong home contingent on show this week with Thorbjorn Olesen and Lucas Bjerregaard leading the way. Soren Kjeldsen, Jeff Winther and Anders Hansen are just some of the other Danes on show. Jorge Campillo, Adrian Otaegui, Jordan Smith, Erik van Rooyen and Thomas Detry are some of the other leading lights on show over the course of the week.
Matt Wallace is the 8/1 favourite to win the tournament this week. He is yet to successfully defend a title which is a bit of a negative and after a long week in New York I’m not convinced this will be the sort of focus it might have been previously. On the flip side of that he has finished second and third in his last two tournaments but I just fancy he could be running on fumes so he is definitely not for me at the prices.
Former winner Thomas Pieters is the second favourite at 16/1. He won this tournament on this course which is a positive but having played the last two weeks in America and been tested by Bethpage Black I wonder how much juice he is going to have left for this event. Although he has been competitive this season he hasn’t really looked like winning which is a major negative when he is only 16/1 here. He’s pretty easy to pass over.
Jordan Smith and Lucas Bjerregaard come next at 18/1. Although he’s the home boy I’m passing up Bjerregaard here because he had four tough rounds in New York last week and I just think that place is going to have a lasting effect on those involved. Jordan Smith is a much more attractive proposition. He was nowhere near New York last week and has last six form figures of T12-T62-T7-T14-T5-T6 so he’s in decent nick. His strength tends to be his length though and he is comfortably down the putting stats which rule him out of my reckoning.
Erik van Rooyen comes fifth in the market at 22/1. He is another who was deeply involved in New York last week so that immediately takes him off my radar. To be fair to the South African he is fairly high up in the putting statistics so if last week hasn’t taken too much from him then he is entitled to be in the mix. Last week was his fourth top 10 in the last two months so he is in form but I’d want more on someone yet to win at this level.
There is just the one bet I like this week. One or two more might have entered the equation but I’m going nowhere near anyone who was in New York last week. That leaves Thomas Detry as my sole main bet for this tournament. His good pal Thomas Pieters has won this tournament before which might act as some inspiration for him here but the next step for him is to get out in front.
Detry finished last year in Europe with four top seven finishes in his last nine events and went on to partner Thomas Pieters to the World Cup title. This year he has three top 15 finishes including last time out at the British Masters where he sat second at halfway and where only Robert Macintyre had fewer putts per GIR than him. Detry currently sits in the top 30 in strokes gained putting and should run very well here as my main bet.
Instead I’ll play darts at four outsiders at great prices with the first of those being David Horsey. Horsey loves this tournament if his record in it is anything to go by. He won the tournament around here in 2015 and was beaten into second by Julian Suri in 2017. He has put up some decent enough efforts this season but in the European summer I expect to see him peak. He’s seventh in strokes gained putting so I’m expecting a decent showing from him here.
I was on Oliver Wilson to win the British Masters at Hillside a couple of weeks ago when he annoyingly finished one shot out of the places after a slow start to the week. I expect him to contend around here though. His weakness is very much off the tee but he doesn’t need to pound anything to navigate his way round this track so that is a positive. Wilson’s eighth place finish at Hillside was his fourth top 10 of the season so on tracks that suit he is very competitive. This is one of those so he looks a huge price.
Jaco van Zyl could be a big price this week. I noticed him when he held the early lead in the British Masters. Two thirds of the way through the opening round he sat at six under par and although the wheels came off a little after that there were signs that he is beginning to come to life a little. He was sixth around here in 2016 and although he hasn’t been at his best this year he still sits at fourth on the strokes gained putting statistic. If he keeps improving his ball striking with competitive reps there should be a big week from him here.
Alejandro Canizares is a bit of a ridiculous price this week. Admittedly he would have liked to have shown a little more since securing his tour card once again but he’s another who is likely to come to life with the European swing in action. Canizares will never contend on monster courses but ones where accuracy and a good short game is needed he is generally the man so he should have a good time of it here. The Spaniard ranks at 16 in strokes gained putting this term so with the long game scrutiny less than normal I fancy he could give us a decent run at 350/1.
Back T.Detry to win Made in Denmark (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 36.00 with Betfair (1/5 1-7)
Back him here:
Back D.Horsey to win Made in Denmark (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 81.00 with 888sport (1/5 1-6)
PLACED – Back O.Wilson to win Made in Denmark (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 101.00 with 888sport (1/5 1-6)
Back A.Canizares to win Made in Denmark (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 351.00 with 888sport (1/5 1-6)
Back J.van Zyl to win Made in Denmark (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 151.00 with Coral (1/5 1-7)