Made in Denmark 2016 – Himmerland Golf & Spa, live on Sky Sports 4
Last weeks golf
In the end a profitable week courtesy of a David Lipsky 100/1 EW payout. For a moment it looked like he might miss out due to a bogey on the penultimate hole, but a Robert Karlsson bogey, coupled in with slow finishes for Robert Rock and Graeme Storm meant our man Lipsky snatched the sixth place outright that was on offer with SB.
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The Made in Denmark event might only be in its infancy with this being just the third staging, but it has quickly become one of the most supported tournaments on the European Tour circuit. Huge crowds have supported Denmark’s biggest annual golf event over the first two years and tens of thousands of spectators are once again expected for the 2016 edition, cheering on home stars such as Soren Kjeldsen, Thomas Bjorn and Thorbjorn Olesen. Star names on show are plentiful given the proximity to the Ryder Cup and include Andy Sullivan, Matt Fitzpatrick, Shane Lowry, Martin Kaymer and Thomas Pieters. Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Chris Wood, Joost Luiten and Tyrrell Hatton were also on the original entry list but have since opted out. Last year I was fortunate to land David Horsey as an 80/1 winner here.
The Himmerland Golf & Spa resort is a wind exposed par 71 measuring in at a relatively short 6,851 yards. There are three par 5’s with the shortest being the 471 yard 6th hole and the longest being the 11th, measuring in at a whooping 644 yards. It houses a modern day classic iconic par3 – the 128 yard 16th – which has a Roman amphitheatre feel to it, given the large crowd that surrounds the green on the steep banks that overlooks the putting surface. Danish journeyman Andreas Harto made history here last year – not by making a hole-in-one – but by proposing to his missus in front of thousands of spectators!
Thursday looks calmer than Friday, but winds will stay consistent throughout both the AM and PM around the 5-10mph mark. Saturday afternoon is currently looking the breeziest around the 12mph mark – the week is set reasonably fair – with a chance of rain hitting the PM tee times on Friday.
Previous Winners & Key Stats
2015 – David Horsey (-13) (DA: 56th, DD 36th, GIR 8th, PPGIR 13th, Scrambles 9/17)
2014 – Marc Warren (-10) (DA 50th, DD 27th, GIR 3rd, PPGIR 5th, Scrambles 7/9)*
* NOTE, no stats appear available for Warren’s second and fourth round.
What you do off the tee here appears totally irrelevant. In 2014 nobody in the top 8 finished higher than 25th for driving accuracy (DA) whilst nobody in the top 14 finished higher than 11th for driving distance (DD). 2015 was a similar story as only Australian journeyman Terry Pilkadaris was the only player in the top 13 home to finish better than 15th for DA. Distance was even less important in 2015 with the same top 13 finishers having a best finish of 19th for DD, and that was Soren Kjeldsen, renowned for being a shorter-hitter.
Hitting the greens in the correct number looks reasonably important given Warren and Horsey’s fine GIR stats – it is noticeable that 5 of the top 9 finished 14th or better for GIR in 2015 – whilst two years ago 3 of the top 6 finished inside the top ten for greens hit over the week.
Both leaderboards are littered with fine wind golfers from traditionally breezy locations such as UK, Scandinavia and Australia. There could be semi-course form correlations with the Qatar Masters, the KLM Open and any of the locations used for the Scottish Open.
David Lipsky 66/1 EW (now 60s, which is OK)
Last weeks place bet has lost a third of his price but still looks worth another punt. Lipsky won his only ET event on the back of a solid bank of form and comes into this week following T24 and 6th in his last two stroke play tournaments. Course form at Himmerland reading T15, T14 is also a major plus, so is the fact his last four rounds here read a solid 68, 71, 71, 66, 69.
James Morrison 80/1 (now 70’s which is OK)
We backed the Englishman during the recent matchplay and he nearly landed us a 66/1 winner, eventually losing out to Alex Noren in the semi-finals. Not in the greatest of form prior to that, last years Open de Espana champion is always tough to catch right. He’s played here once before, a T28 in 2014, in which he recovered from an opening round of 76 to shoot three under-par 70s in a row. Four top 10 finishes in 18 events this year is solid.
David Horsey 80/1
Defending a title is never easy but four-time ET winner Horsey made a good first of defending his 2014 Russian Open trophy, finishing 3rd the following year. He also finished T14 and T2 in the two years after his 2011 Trophee Hassan victory and seems to be a horses-for-courses (sorry) type with multiple high finishes at other wind affected courses such as the KLM Open. A 7th place in Germany four events back courtesy of a warm putter is also positive.
Benjamin Hebert (140/1)
The six-time Challenge Tour winning Frenchman had a T14 finish here last year on the back of a similar run of (poor) current form. Take a look through Hebert’s top 20 best career finishes and the courses are all nearly all wind-exposed – Qatar, Alfred Dunhill links, Black Mountain, Perth – a proven multiple winner albeit on a lower grade tour,, this could be the course that Hebert progresses to the next level on.
Mikael Lundberg (200/1)
The crafty Swede has a knack of winning a ET event from nowhere, like he did two years back in Austria. A T9 here in 2014, he fits one of the required leaderboard profiles of being an old experienced pro who knows how to plot his way round fiddly set-ups. T42 and T19 in his last two strokeplay events shows signs his game is in decent order, as is his putter, as he finished inside the top 25 in both the PPGIR and PPR stats last week in Prague.
Brett Rumford (250/1)
A T19 last week in Prague could’ve been so much better after the experienced Aussie shot a third round 68. This is his first visit to Himmerland but I reckon this course could be right up his street. A fine wind golf exponent and multiple champion, Rumford looks to be returning to his best form post injury and post ban of the anchored putter. Journeymen Australian golfers such as Pilkadaris, Daniel Gaunt and Richard Green all posted top 10 finishes last year – lets hope Rummy goes even better.
Prices correct at time of writing.