KLM Open: Three to play in the First Round Leader market

South African Erik Van Rooyen
Erik Van Rooyen can make yet another quick start
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Dave Tindall looks at the opening round of the KLM Open in the Netherlands and has three picks to make a fast start...

"This season on the European Tour, he's finished inside the top six after day one on seven occasions."

Back Erik Van Rooyen each-way @ 40/1

Each-way terms: 1/5 odds, 6 places

Weather forecast for Spijk, Netherlands: It's partly sunny all day with wind speed holding steady at around 10mph. Temperatures rise a little for the afternoon starters but, overall, conditions are very similar throughout.

First-round leader history: We haven't got much to go on. In 2016, morning starter Ben Evans led the way while in 2017 Bernd Wiesberger and Richard Finch set the clubhouse target on Thursday morning before play was called off in the afternoon. Thursday p.m. starters Sebastian Heisele and Joël Stalter returned on Friday morning to make it a four-way tie.

Van Rooyen can vault up R1 leaderboard

Erik Van Rooyen will get his first look at The Dutch this week but there seems a very good chance that he'll take immediately to it.

The South African is a self-confessed fan of links golf and the Colin Montgomerie design makes several nods to that style of course.

He's certainly worth a look on the outright market and Paul Krishnamurty has put him up in our in-form each-way column.

But I particularly like him for first-round leader.

Van Rooyen has a strong history for quick starts, something we saw first on the Challenge Tour. This season on the European Tour, he's finished inside the top six after day one on seven occasions.

A very recent thermometer check shows the end-of-R1 positions on his last four starts reading 6-8-86-2. After opening with a 66 in Switzerland last week, let's back him to throw in another low one at The Dutch.

Lagergren can leap into early contention

I've gone for the Swede in the each-way column at 50s and, at the risk of putting too many meatballs in the same oven, I'll also play him for FRL at five points higher.

Lagergren's opening 67 put him just one shot off the lead here after Thursday's action last year, an event he led at halfway before finishing T9.

On debut in 2016, he went one better, firing a 66 out of the gate to sit second after round one.

Fine starts have become the norm for Lagergren and he's shot in the 60s in his last five events.

With the links comparison, Lagergren's form of 12-4-4 in the Alfred Dunhill Links takes on obvious relevance. In the last two he's ended the opening day in eighth and third respectively.

From an early start, he can go low again.

Pavon a worthy pick

Matthieu Pavon showed some links form when T10 in the Irish Open while his T38 here last year was a decent effort too.

But he gets the nod due to a price of 110/1 which reflects his finishes rather than his starts.

The Frenchman has form of 59-MC-29 but his R1 leader positions in those three events makes very different reading - 10-87-8.

At the Irish Open he was second after Thursday's action while, believe it or not, he was even T6 after 18 holes of the U.S. Open.

While he's had just two top tens since last August, he's finished round one in the top ten no less than nine times and one of those came on this very course 12 months ago.

At this point of his career, this is the market to play him in.

Tee-times for our trio: Van Rooyen 08:45, Lagergren 07:45, Pavon 12:55.

Dave's 2017/18 R1 leader P/L (based on £5 ew per selection)

Staked: £720
Returned: £610.23
P/L: -£109.77

(After the BMW Championship)

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