Fresh off a near-miss with Billy Horschel at the BMW, Paul Krishnamurty's weekly outsider-hunting column takes in the KLM Dutch Open...
"Syme demonstrated serious links prowess immediately upon turning pro when finishing 15th in the Dunhill Links and has since gone on to finish second in the ShotClock Masters."
Back Connor Syme @ [300.0]
The first two KLM Dutch Open renewals to be played at The Dutch did not produce many solid statistical indicators. On both occasions, the places included both short and very long hitters, accurate and inaccurate, strong and weak scramblers. This is quite rare, suggesting a particularly wide-open affair, as does last year's 299-1 winner.
I've always found the 'Course Compatibility' measurements on Tour Tips to be a good indicator. Those numbers emphasise greens in regulation and putting. Steve Rawlings also notes the importance of putting well here in his comprehensive preview.
Both stats are, of course, always fundamentally important and I wouldn't understate accuracy either as there is water in play all over this course. Playing less than 7,000 yards, this looks a much better opportunity than usual for the short-straight hitter - as runner-up Austin Connelly demonstrated last year.
Accurate Ormsby has his best chance in a while
The reigning Hong Kong Open champion looks just the type to prosper here and made the top-25 last year. Ormsby hits fairways for fun and for once won't be severely hampered by his lack of power off the tee. He ranks number one for scrambling among these over the past year.
Ormsby hasn't contended seriously this summer but his numbers warrant further inspection. Three straight top-30s, including 12th at the elite Open de France, read well as does 39th, when out of his depth on paper, at the Bridgestone.
Chesters should enjoy links characteristics
Similar comments apply to Chesters, who played well enough when carrying our cash a fortnight ago to get another chance. Ninth place in Denmark was his fifth top-30 of the summer and best result since finishing seventh in Austria. Again, this short course looks far more suitable than usual.
Although ranking just 125th for driving distance, the rest of his long game is superb. He ranks first for driving accuracy, ninth for greens in regulation plus a respectable 38th for scrambling. A good record on links courses during his short career - finishing 12th as an amateur in an Open and 20th at Portstewart - is a further positive.
Syme fancied for late money list heroics
The final pick was a close call between two promising types struggling to earn next season's playing rights, at similarly huge odds on the exchange. Syme, currently 116th on the Race to Dubai, gets the nod as he nears the end of a promising rookie season.
The 23 year-old Scot demonstrated serious links prowess immediately upon turning pro when finishing 15th in the Dunhill Links, and didn't disgrace himself at the Open as an amateur. He's since gone on to finish second in the ShotClock Masters and registered a couple of top-25s in the past few weeks. Syme has potential and I think the market will respect him if contending.
The rejected alternative in question is Pedro Oriol - available at 200/1 each-way or [400.0] on the exchange. We backed him a fortnight ago and he came agonisingly close to hitting the lay target - [38.0] instead of [30.0]. Then as now, the argument is that Oriol has improvement potential and an excellent long game, even if he keeps struggling to put four good rounds together.