Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald will be running the rule over potential candidates for his Rome squad when the former world No.1 tees it up in this week’s Made In HimmerLand tournament in Denmark so players like Rasmus Hojgaard, Bob MacIntyre and Matt Wallace will be hoping to bring their A-game to the party.
Wallace put down an early marker by getting into a playoff with Thriston Lawrence in the Swiss Alps but for once the putter couldn’t get him out of jail and the solid (in more ways than one) South African wore him down.
If only he wasn’t so hard on himself, Wallace would not be in a four-year win drought. He’s a past Danish champion but the 2018 edition was played on a different course, Silkeborg. It would come as no surprise if he turned the tables on Lawrence who was heading off for some heavy partying after Sunday’s marathon effort.
Hojgaard is finding it hard to live up to the early hype after his two victories as a teenager but he did add a third at Crans 12 months ago and, still only 22, has time on his side.
With a putting stoke to die for, MacIntyre looked a superstar in the making when just losing out in a fantastic battle with Bernd Wiesberger in this very tournament in his rookie year, 2019, and I’ve been following the Scot from Oban over a cliff ever since. For punters it has been an expensive journey but on a course he once played so well, the temptation to put him up again is irresistible. Surely he has improved in three years?
Another who will coming under Donald scrutiny is fast-improving Richard Mansell who has been having an August that’s been as hot as the weather itself. The stylish Englishman came up just short at Crans but third place on top of fourth at Galgorm Castle indicates a first victory is not far away.
HimmerLand’s short 6686-yard par 71 is tailor-made for Donald himself and there is evidence of improvement during the summer but it’s been yonks since he last contended, hence his price of 125/1.
The Danes have had seven years without a home winner of a tournament that started life as Made In Denmark in 2014 but swapped HimmerLand for Denmark in the title last year.
That was when Wiesberger made a belated successful defence, Covid having knocked the 2020 edition on its head, but there will be no Wiesberger hat-trick as the Austrian star has been head-hunted by LIV Golf and is instead teeing it up in Boston this week.
On the subject of Austrians, Sepp Straka’s Tour Championship seventh, following a breakthrough victory at Honda and a fine second in Memphis, will not have escaped captain Donald’s eagle eye. The big fella can replace Wiesberger in Rome next September.
The Danish fans will have plenty to cheer for, not only the Hojgaard twins but British Masters champion Thorbjorn Olesen who blows hot and cold but on a going day could dot up in this modest company. He’s a prolific winner – that Belfry success in May was his first for four years but he racked up five earlier ones before a brush with the law put his career on hold – and would be a more confident selection had there been more encouragement from past HimmerLand visits.
One who does have a plus at the Farso course is Sweden’s Alexander Bjork who was sixth last year and has produced decent finishes on his two latest outings, 16th at Crans and 20th in the Cazoo Classic at Hillside.
It is as well to remember Bjork finished runner-up at the all-star DP World Tour Championship in Dubai nine months ago. Only dual Major champion Collin Morikawa beat him and the man he shared second with is now also a Major winner, Matt Fitzpatrick.
Last year’s runner-up Guido Migliozzi bids to go one better but seems to be trying too hard to stake a claim to a Ryder Cup berth in his home country and the Italians may have a better chance with in-form Renato Paratore.
Spaniards Adri Arnaus and Nacho Elvira shared ninth at Crans and as 2022 winners must come into the conversation, along with South African Justin Harding, Eddie Pepperell, dual 2022 winner Ewen Ferguson and the evergreen Pablo Larrazabal.
But on the score of value I’ll chance late-blooming German Marcel Schneider who followed up a sixth in Prague with seventh in Switzerland. As he had back-to-back top-sevens in Holland and Belgium earlier in the year, he gets his good figures in clusters. At 50/1 he’s ready to step up.
Made in Himmerland golf betting tips 2022
- 2pts each-way Alexander Bjork at 35/1
- 1pt each-way Thorbjorn Olesen at 33/1
- 1pt each-way Matt Wallace at 22/1
- 1pt each-way Robert MacIntyre at 28/1
- 0.5pt each-way Richard Mansell at 28/1
- 0.5pt each-way Marcel Schneider at 50/1
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