Improving Pieters One to Watch
The Belgian bomber has always been one of the best ball-strikers on the circuit, winning four European Tour titles as well as the World Cup alongside Thomas Detry, but over the last couple of years, a lack of success with putter in hand has been a cause of great concern.
If Pieters could find a better putting stroke, the man who top-scored in the 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine before finishing fourth in the 2017 Masters at Augusta could be right back in business for major honours.
Last week, the 29-year-old revealed he has made some changes to his putting technique, and he was thrilled with the results.
Pieters was much improved on and around the greens, finishing ninth in the BMW PGA Championship, closing with an eagle in a bogey-free Sunday round of 66.
He won the Dutch Open in 2015 and he is
11/1 to repeat the trick on Sunday.
Veerman Looking to Delight His Dad
The main threat to Pieters this week may turn out to be Johannes Veerman, who has a Dutch father.
Jan Veerman will be keen on his son performing well at the Bernardus Golf venue – and Johannes’s stellar recent form suggests he will be a factor on Sunday.
He made his European Tour breakthrough in the Czech Masters last month – and that success came on a course with similarities to that facing the competitors in the Netherlands.
22/1, Veerman is worth a second glance when you factor in that he was eighth in the Italian Open the week before last.
A damaging six-hole stretch in the middle of the back-nine at Wentworth on Sunday saw the American plummet down the leaderboard, but he has generally been swinging superbly over the last few months and should take a shine to this week’s assignment.
Elvis can put on a show in Netherlands
Elvis Smylie, who is priced at
200/1, could be one for the money. The 19-year-old Australian left-hander has been making waves in his homeland and could quickly develop into one of the best players in the world.
He has posted three top-three finishes on the Australasian circuit this year, earning two European Tour invites.
Both of his trips to Europe resulted in a missed cut, but his scores improved each round and he was only one shot shy of the weekend qualifying mark in the Cazoo Open.
Smylie is obviously short of experience, but not of talent, and in his third attempt at making a European Tour cut he can be fancied to succeed.
Smylie turned professional in February and has a strong team around him. Both his parents have backgrounds in pro sport and they have helped develop a potential golfing god. He has an old head on young shoulders.
*All odds correct at time of writing.