Joost Luiten, who narrowly missed out on earning a place in the European Ryder Cup team, has set his sights on winning the KLM Open for the second time in his career.
The 28-year-old beat Miguel Angel Jimenez in a play-off 12 months ago to win the tournament and is aiming to become the first Dutchman to successfully defend a European Tour title.
Luiten’s triumph at last year’s KLM Open was the third European Tour victory of his career following his successes at the Iskandar Johor Open in 2011 and the 2013 Lyoness Open, and he is 12.00 to emerge victorious this week while Simon Dyson is 21.00.
Luiten is in fine form having clinched a top-five finish on his last appearance in Italy two weeks ago and hopes to taste victory on home soil, saying: “Winning in my own country was very special last year, and for it to happen early on in my career was a dream come true.
“So it will be a proud moment for me to return as defending champion, and I can’t wait to play in front of the home crowds again – their support last year was unbelievable. This tournament is definitely the fifth Major for me. Having another Dutch winner was great for golf in Holland, and showed that the game here is moving in the right direction.”
Meanwhile, Dyson is hoping to do well at a tournament which he has won on three previous occasions. If the Englishman can win the KLM Open again he will become the first player to win the event on four occasions since it became part of the European Tour in 1972, and only the seventh player in European Tour history to win the same official event four or more times.