Each-Way Betting

KLM Open Each-Way Tips: 40/1 Otaegui leads the Armada

Golfer Adrian Otaegui
Spain's Adrian Otaegui can win for a second time this year in Amsterdam.

The DP World Tour is in the Netherlands for this week's KLM Open. Matt Wallace and Tom McKibbin heads the betting but Matt Cooper looks elsewhere for his three selections with the Betfair Sportsbook paying six places...

  • China Open winner Adrian Otaegui can triumph again

  • Defending champion Pablo Larrazabal can go back-to-back

  • Rafa Cabrera Bello is hinting at a return to form

There are many moments in life that provide a satisfaction beyond their apparent insignificance.

Opening a packet of medication and finding the instructions aren't obstructing access to the pills. Checking the time when it's 12.34. The smell of a new paperback.

And, in terms of golf scoring, a leaderboard with a solo winner, solo second, solo third, solo fourth, solo fifth and solo sixth.

It's so neat, so rare, and such an oddly comforting balm for the soul.

One of the infrequent examples came five years ago, when the KLM Open visited The International for the first and, until this week, the only time.

Spain's Sergio Garcia claimed top spot, followed by the then-little-known teenager Nicolai Hojgaard, Matt Wallace, James Morrison, Callum Shinkwin and Rikard Karlberg.

The Amsterdam course, with pretensions to being linksy in style, was designed by Ian Woosnam.

It certainly has the visuals, and the shapers have been given free rein with the greens. They've also done a nice job of creating a crumpled backdrop which the greenkeepers have left alone to produce wavy high grass that adds to the effect.

As often happens, the modern links layout also features more water hazards than a strictly authentic replica would produce but it's not a bad effort.

For those fond of nostalgia it does rather make one pine for the KLM Open's venues of the past, however.

Because, as one would expect of a country so close, and sometimes beneath, sea level, the Netherlands has authentic linksland in the shape of Kennemer and Noorwijkse.

The 2019 leaderboard at The International did suggest that links (or modern links) pedigree helped performance.

Garcia is, of course, a very fine golfer by the seaside and third placed Wallace (who flew through the field after sitting T11th after 18 holes) has been second at Hillside and Fairmont St Andrews.

Shinkwin was the 54-hole leader and he lost a play-off at Dundonald Links while halfway pace-setter Scott Jamieson has been third at Castle Stuart.

Morrison has been second at Fairmont St Andrews and third at Archerfield Links while links specialist Matthew Southgate was tied second at halfway.

This week's field is pretty typical of the current DP World Tour in terms of standard, but the next few weeks will see a gradual up-tick in quality as the schedule takes us to Italy, Germany and then a fortnight Scotland.

Main Bet: Adrian Otaegui 1pt each-way @ 40/1

The three year scoring average would have the Spaniard Adrian Otaegui as the sixth best player in this field, while he'd be 16th over the last year and 10th over the last two months.

It's never quite as simple as all that, of course, but throw in the fact that the 31-year-old is a five-time winner on the DP World Tour - and that the fifth of them can as recently as last month - it seems rather tempting that 16 players are priced shorter than him this week.

He didn't play The International in 2019, but he was second in last year's tournament at Bernardus and he's made the cut in the last five editions that he's played.

He won the 2020 Scottish Championship at Fairmont St Andrews and was third there two years later in the Hero Open so has the modern linksy course box ticked, too.

Next Best: Pablo Larrazabal 1pt each-way @ /1

Pablo Larrazabal in Qatar.jpg

The second pick is more or less along the same lines as the first.

Pablo Larrazabal ranks 14th over the last three years of scoring and while his numbers have dropped in recent times he has one good excuse: he and his wife are new parents.

He returned to action in Japan in late April after paternity leave and made progress over the course of four starts.

Rusty, he missed the cut in Japan. He was then T50th in China, T34th in Belgium and T13th in Germany at the European Open.

Since then he has been back home and, with the full impact of early parenthood having passed, he might now experience the benefit of nappy factor.

That notion alone would have been insufficient, but the improved form helps, his nine wins at this level are always persuasive, and the clincher is his wonderful form in the Netherlands.

He's played there 10 times, hinted that he liked it by grabbing the first round lead on his debut on the Challenge Tour in 2007 and has seven top 20 finishes in total.

In his last six visits he's finished second at Hilversum in 2012, was ninth and fifth at Kennemer in 2013 and 2014 (when the halfway leader both times), T20th and T11th at The Dutch in 2016 and 2018, then he won at Bernardus last year.

Those good vibes plus the improving form and possibility of a baby bounce are tempting.

Final Bet: Rafa Cabrera Bello 1pt each-way @ /1

The actual Spanish Armada very nearly ran aground in the Netherlands, but hopefully this week's trio won't - yes, the week's plan is completed by the Canary Islands' own Rafa Cabrera Bello.

His career has been in the doldrums for some while now. In fact, you'd probably argue it is five years since we saw him consistently at this best (and it remains a raw wound that his only win since then came when he pinched it from column pick Adri Arnaus).

With a victory at Dundonald Links, second at Yas Links and ninth at the Renaissance Club he's got the modern link design credentials.

On genuine links he's finished second at Royal Portrush, fourth at Royal County Down and seventh at Kennemer (when the 54-hole leader).

He finished seventh in the European Open two starts again and was sixth after three rounds when T25th in the Scandinavian Mixed last time out (when his stats were much improved).

He completes the picks at three figures.

Now read Steve Rawlings on the KLM Open.

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