The regular European Tour gets back on track this week with the second hosting of the Made in Denmark tournament at Himmerland Golf Resort in the northern part of Denmark. Scotland’s Marc Warren is the defending champion.
After a hugely exciting week at the USPGA Championship, it’s back to business as usual for the players on the European Tour. Following last year’s highly successful Made in Denmark tournament a good field has assembled again this season to do battle for a prize fund of €1.5 million.
In last year’s tournament Marc Warren of Scotland picked up his third European Tour title after coming through a ding-dong battle with Bradley Dredge of Wales during the final round.
The course at Himmerland is exposed and the wind can play a role in competition here. Last year only 14 players broke par for the week. With breezy conditions forecast again this time out, the players could be in for a challenge.
Four things to watch for at the Made in Denmark:
1. Marc Warren is enjoying an excellent season on the European Tour and he will be the favourite this week. He’s currently 14th on the Race to Dubai standings and has only missed three cuts in 2015. He won at this venue last year and he enjoys playing in more challenging conditions. He was tied fourth at the Scottish Open and made the semi finals of the Saltire Energy Paul Lawrie Match Play. Warren has matured into a fine player and could well be a Ryder Cup team member in 2016.
2. The home players will be keen to make an impact this week. Thomas Bjorn showed some good form at Whistling Straits last week and he’ll be ably supported by the likes of the supremely talented Thorbjorn Olesen and the tenacious Soren Kjeldsen. The Irish Open winner in 2015, Kjeldsen is another player who thrives in tough conditions. If the wind gets up as predicted, he could be in with a chance. Other lesser-known Danes who might contend this week include Morten Orum Madsen and Lucas Bjerregard.
3. Darren Clarke will start again this week. The 2016 Ryder Cup captain has had a relatively busy playing season with 13 starts on the European Tour to this point. He’s made six cuts but is yet to pick up a decent cheque in 2015 -- he’s currently 130th in the Race to Dubai so he really needs a good finish here. Clarke’s participation this week is significant as it was announced last week that the qualification process for the 2016 Ryder Cup will conclude at the 2016 Made in Denmark.
4. The crowds. Last year more than 82,000 spectators attended this event and similar numbers are predicted this year. On the run for home in 2014 galleries were similar in size to those you might expect at a Major championship.
“The crowds were amazing,” said defending champ Warren. “It was held, as it is again this year, the week after the USPGA Championship and it definitely has the same feel to it. I can’t wait to tee it up.”