Hansen can hit the ground running


Each-way terms: 1/5 odds, 6 places

Weather forecast for Thursday: It’s a mix of sunshine and cloud with temperatures starting in the mid-50s for the very early starters and peaking at at 67 degrees in mid-to-late afternoon. Wind speeds are fairly minimal all day, ranging between 5mph and 8mph. Overall, the afternoon wave have warmer conditions and slightly less wind but it’s not a serious advantage.

Hansen to start fast

The last time the word ‘heathland’ cropped up on a European Tour course description was just a few months ago when Vallda Golf and Country Club in Gothenburg played host to the Scandinavian Mixed.

It pops up again this week as what was previously the KLM Open heads to Bernardus Golf in Cromvoirt for the first time. It’s a modern, Kyle Phillips design, measuring 7,425 yards.

If heathland is one of our main clues, it’s worth noting the top 10 in the men’s portion of the Scandinavian Mixed: Jonathan Caldwell, Adrian Otaegui, Scott Hend, James Morrison, JB Hansen, Alexander Bjork, Masahiro Kawamura, Jason Scrivener, David Drysdale, Haydn Porteous and Pedro Figueiredo.

That’s not a bad list to mine although only Hansen, Drysdale, Porteous and Figueiredo are taking part this week.

Still, each are worth checking and two of them have some good recent first-round form.

First up is Hansen and his liking for this style of course is further explored by Matt Cooper in his each-way preview.

In terms of this market, the Dane was the pacesetter on day one of the Gran Canaria Lopesan Open in April and fifth after 18 holes of the Olympic men’s golf tournament.

Last week he sat 11th after round one at Wentworth, eventually completing a solid four days’ work by finishing tied 20th.

Hansen is an industry-best 55/1 to end round one in front so let’s play.

Dial up Drysdale

The other who played well on the heathland layout in Sweden was David Drysdale.

As for his Thursday form, the Scot shot a 64 to sit second after the first lap of the ISPS Handa World Invitational and was inside top 10 following the first round of last month’s Cazoo Classic a couple of weeks later.

Drysdale also made quick starts in Kenya (65) and Austria (T10 after day one) in back-to-back starts in late March/April and was in the top 25 at Wentworth when Thursday was in the books.

We’re guessing about course liking but in 2017 Drysdale shot a 67 at Kingsbarns, another Kyle Phillips track, to sit sixth after two rounds of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

It’s a different venue but he was sixth on his penultimate start in the Netherlands so there are a few pointers to suggest he may go well at 110/1.

Back Besseling

Finally, I’ll side with a home player in Wil Besseling.

With not much to go on this week, it’s useful to find the Dutchman talk about the course on his website and reveal that he knows it well.

“I’ve been here a lot in recent years to work with my coach, there are great practice facilities here and I’m glad that Bernardus gives me the opportunity to train with them,” he said.

“I’m really looking forward to this week, where the audience and fans will also be there. The last time I played was in 2019 at my home club, the International and I finished 7th. This time hope to see you all at Bernardus!”

Like this course, The International is a modern layout so his good performance there in 2019 bodes well.

As for current form, he’s made the top 30 in three of his last four starts, including tied 13th at Crans.

He’s shot Friday 66s in his last two events (Crans and Italian Open) so hopefully he can bring that good play forward a day.

Take the local man at 45/1.

As for start times: Hansen 13:58 (1st), Drysdale 13:14 (10th) and Besseling 13:25 (1st).





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