The Made In Denmark tournament was first played last year with Marc Warren taking home the spoils. The course has been re-designed in recent years and it made for a spectacular tournament last year with record crowds turning out to cheer on local favourites Thomas Bjorn and Thorbjorn Olesen. This year I expect the tournament to be equally successful. If you stray from the fairways here you can end up in some peculiar places. The rough either side of the fairway is manageable however stray a bit further and you're likely to find yourself in some gnarly dunes that wouldn't look out of place on a seaside links.
Hitting the ball straight is definitely a requirement around Himmerland and those with accurate irons who can fire at the right portions of the greens will gain significant advantage. There are plenty of changes in elevation so I will be keeping that in mind when sifting out the selections this week. Weather should be favourable enough however the wind will almost certainly impact at some point during the week.
Marc Warren heads the market at a top price of 10/1. Despite some recent good form I find his price nothing short of scandalous. Before looking at the market I considered backing Warren, hoping for some 22s or 25s. Needless to say 10/1 doesn't interest me in the slightest and I'm happy to let him win unbacked at those odds. Bjorn and Kjeldsen are next in the market in what is a weak enough field. There are a number of outsiders I have pinpointed who have a sneak at inflated odds and I'll get to them later.
I've talked myself out of backing Thomas Bjorn at the last minute. Quotes of 20/1 are a shade risky about the Dane with 15 European Tour wins to his name. At first glance after making the cut at Whistling Straits last week I considered the the price to be very tasty in a weak field. However there have been no top tens posted on tour this season and he is woefully out of form. An in form Bjorn would no doubt turn up here at a single figure price, however the more I dwell on it the more I realise that the price is maybe warranted. We'll leave him out and hopefully it is the right decision.
After much deliberation and a shade of annoyance at having to invest in this lad at these odds our top bet this week goes to Matt Fitzpatrick. My main reason for investing is my belief that Matt is by far and away the most talented golfer teeing it up this week. Bjorn may have banked his wins over the last 15 plus years, but the yet winless Fitzpatrick is a proper golfer in the making. He will be England's next best golfer behind the Westwood generation and surely a win is just around the corner. He came very close in Crans a few weeks back only losing a back 9 lead to Danny Willett. I am highly confident this lad will win many tournaments and with accuracy being more of a strongpoint over his length, I consider this venue as quite enticing. 22/1 is nothing to get over excited about, however, considering he is twice the golfer that Marc Warren is, it becomes almost impossible not to include him in our staking plan. The most likely winner in my book.
This is definitely one of those and at 60/1 Rock represents solid value. Top tens in Dubai and and the Tschwane Open was backed up by a tied 3rd finish in the Lyoness Open in the summer. Making the cut in France and Scotland is solid enough heading into this week. He will rate this one of his better chances this season and I expect a decent showing from Rock. He works hard and with two wins on tour is more experienced than most should he get into contention.
His two wins on tour were at Crans and Madeira. Both experiences will be beneficial for the Welshman around a track which requires some similar tools. A second placed finish in the Dunhill links in 2006 also backs up the argument that he has a chance this week. Considering he has posted some decent results this year I'm more than happy to snap up the 50/1 on a venue where he played so well on last year.
Form shown in Joburg and African open is worthy of note also as elevation changes take place there. He would have been a bigger bet had he not missed recent cuts in Madeira, Scotland and France. That is without doubt a shade worrying as those courses should be in his wheelhouse. However, at the odds I'm prepared to support him in a weakish field.