On the 30th of August, one week from today, Darren Clarke will make his three Ryder Cup Captain’s Picks. Matt Fitzpatrick and Andy Sullivan are two of the nine men that have confirmed their spot in the European team. They’ll be joined in Denmark by four men that can still earn a spot on Team Europe in September. Martin Kaymer has likely sealed his place on the team already but a win could vault Thomas Pieters, Shane Lowry or Søren Kjeldsen into the conversation.
This is just another week for the rest of the golfers who’ve made the trip to Farsø, Denmark. The Himmerland Golf Resort and Spa returns to host the event. The Par 71 has seen Marc Warren and David Horsey crowned as winners in the last two years. Measuring a measly 6,851 yards, the Danish course has an interesting mix of holes. In 2015, the two Par 5s on the Front 9 saw a total of 72 eagles over the course of the four days. There is a stretch of tough holes between the 7th and the 13th. Those seven holes all played over par last year.
The European Tour is always tough to break down as far as stats go. Driving Accuracy and Driving Distance seem of little importance here though. If you’re looking at the stats then favour golfers that hit a lot of greens and putt well. In the two years of the tournament, the Top 10 has featured twelve golfers from the UK, five from Denmark, three from Sweden, three from Australia and a lone Indian. Before the Made in Denmark made its debut in 2014, the European Tour hadn’t been to Denmark since the 2003 Nordic Open. In that event, the Top 10 featured six golfers from the UK, two Swedes and a Dane.
Of the favourites, Matt Fitzpatrick is probably the best bet. The 21-year-old is back in form and confirming his spot in the European Ryder Cup team must be a big confidence booster. Martin Kaymer has an obvious chance too but looks a bit short at 10/1. If Pieters continues to play his game then there’s every chance that he finds himself at the top come Sunday but I’m more interested in others further down the market.
The best value in this field is clear as day to me, it’s Marc Warren at 55/1. The 2014 Made in Denmark winner has finally found some form. The Scot looked lost following a dismal weekend in Ireland but a Top 10 in the Paul Lawrie Match Play seems to have done the trick. Tied for 11th in the Czech Republic, Warren ranked 4th in Putts Per Round. Another solid week with the flat stick and he could find himself back in the winner’s circle.
James Morrison is my next selection at 70/1. Another golfer who was struggling before the Match Play in Scotland, Morrison had been out of form for months. After a 4th in Austria, the Englishman didn’t play the weekend for five straight events. Hopefully, a 3rd at the Archerfield Links has set him back on the right path. A 2-Time European Tour winner in his early 30s, Morrison fits a very similar profile to the two previous winners at the Himmerland Resort.
Finally, I’ll take a shot on JB Hansen at 200/1. The 26-year-old has plenty of talent. It’s often just a matter of finding the consistency to close out a round when he gets hot. Nobody putted better than Hansen last week. The Dane ranked 1st for Putts Per GIR and Putts Per Round on his way to a T11 finish. When his putter is hot, Hansen is capable of just about anything. In front of a home crowd, there’s every chance we see the best of the young Dane.