KLM Open. Thomas Pieters Wins

Thomas Pieters wins the KLM Open at Kennemer Golf and Country Club in Holland.

KLM Open

Thomas Pieters / Getty Images

Thomas, from Belgium, won his second European Tour title, The KLM Open,  just two weeks after winning his first, the D+D REAL Czech Masters.

It was certainly looking like a play-off when Lee Slatery just needed to convert a four-foot putt, on the last green, to tie Thomas, but he missed.

Thomas had a final round -5 under par 65, to post a clubhouse lead of -19 under par, reporting that it was the putter that brought him victory;

“I rolled in a couple of good ones early in the round and made a really good par save on the ninth which kept the round going.”

“I’m really, really happy. I felt like I played better in the Czech Republic, but my short game was great this week and saved me many times.” 

“I had chances coming in and I felt like I needed to make a couple more. I feel bad for Lee as he played great.”

“It wasn’t comfortable watching him play the last couple of holes. I was wishing I’d made one more birdie. I’m really happy overall with the week and how I played and it’s nice going forward from here.”

“It feels like this win was harder work than in Czech. I didn’t hit the ball as well. I had a week off in between and did some hard work. There’s plenty to work on, but I’m just happy that I won again so soon.” 

“It’s special winning here, just down the road from home. It was great hearing all the Dutch fans cheering my name and getting behind me, so thanks to them.”

“Our two countries kind of stick together. I’m really happy that my family was here again, too.”

Lee Slattery, from England and Eduardo de la Riva, from Spain, tied in second place at -18 under par. Lee carding a last round -2 under par 68, while Eduardo showed how it should be done, -7 under par 63.

Lee explained how he missed his chance of winning, but still enjoyed the week;

“I went into today with a great chance of winning, and I feel like I’ve done everything right really apart from pull that last putt a little bit left.”

“I played some great golf again and it’s given me a lot of confidence.”  

“To play at the level I have done this week, with a lot of top players in the field, and nearly get the job done is really pleasing and encouraging.” 

“To leave myself 75 feet to two-putt for a play-off is asking a lot, it was a lot of pressure.”

“I didn’t hit a great putt on that second one, I’ve got to be honest, but it was probably the first time this week I’ve felt under pressure. Well done to Thomas, he’s a great player.”

“It sets up everything now for the end of the year. I can start preparing for the bigger events at the end of the season.”

“I’ve got a great feeling inside and I’ll be comforted by my family at home, we’ve got a big celebration next week for the win in Russia.”

“A lot of great things have happened these last two weeks and I’ve just got to enjoy it.”

Eduardo said he had played well all week, especially with the putter;

“I played very well today, and all week actually. I’ve been very solid from tee to green and today I was very strong with the putter. I’m very happy to finish with a 63.”

“I knew that I needed a very low round today, but I stuck to my game and just tried to take my chances when they came along. I saw the leaderboards but I was trying not to pay too much attention to them.”


KLM Open. Rafael Cabrera-Bello and Lee Slattery Lead.

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Rafael Cabrera-Bello and Lee Slattery have the 54 hole lead at the KLM Open in Holland.

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Rafael Cabrera-Bello and Lee Slattery / Getty Images

Rafa and Lee both carded third rounds of -7 under par 63, to lead the KLM Open at Kennemer Golf & Country Club with -16 under par totals.

Rafa had a day of tap in birdies, in a mixed bag he also recorded a bogey;

“I sunk a very long putt on the first hole and after that all the other birdies were pretty much tap-ins.” 

“Even the bogey I had was a three-putt from five feet, so it could’ve been better, but I’m really pleased that everything went my way.”

“It was a bonus to hole my third shot for eagle on the seventh. I just threw my club up in the air because I didn’t know how to celebrate! I wasn’t expecting that.”

“It wasn’t frustrating making nine pars in a row. The only hole I felt I gave a shot away was the 12th.

“I hit a perfect drive in the middle of the fairway and had a six iron into the green but made a really poor shot. It’s a par five so I was expecting to make birdie there.”

“The rest of the holes I played well but the putts didn’t drop. It could’ve been one or two better but I’ll take 63.”

“It’s very exciting for tomorrow and it looks like I’ll be in the last group with Lee. Being in the final group on the last day is always an honor and very exciting.”

“I’ve felt this year I’ve been in this position more often than ever before in my career. It’s not always worked out, but I’m learning from my mistakes and working on them.”

“The more I put myself in that position the more comfortable I’ll be and the better I’ll play, simple!”

Lee, last week’s M2M Russian Open champion, also had a bogey on the day, but was very happy with his position, and a bit of luck coming his way;

“It’s like a dream come true at the minute. I went into last week with a lot of pressure on and won, and then I’ve come here with no pressure whatsoever and just been trying to play good golf.” 

“It’s a fabulous feeling and I feel a lot more relaxed this week than I was last week.”

“My first win in 2011 took a lot out of me because it was after years and years and years of hard work, and it was a lifetime ambition to win a European Tour event.”

“That was a special moment for me, but last week meant a lot to several other people as well, so that made it more special in some ways. It’s just been a lot of hard work and it’s finally paying off.”

“A lot of things went my way today. At 12 it looked like it was going to stay at the back of the green, which would have been a really difficult putt, but it rolled back down to about 15 feet and I managed to knock it in for eagle.”

“You need bits of luck when you do well in tournaments, so I’ll take them.”
Paul Lawrie is in third position, just one shot back at -15 under par, he had a bogey free -7 under par 63.

The leaderboard is very compacted, with five players within three shots of the lead, so it is really all up for grabs tomorrow, a great low round will win it.

KLM Open. Two Share 1st Round Lead

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Two players share the first round lead at the KLM Open on the Kennemer Golf and Country Club course in Holland. Paul Lawrie and Wade Ormsby both set the pace with magical scores of 61.

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Paul Lawrie and Wade Ormsby / Getty Images

Paul and Wade both shot bogey free opening rounds of -9 under par 61 t the KLM Open in Holland.

Paul was thinking of the 59, but was very happy to settle for a 61;

“The 59 did cross my mind.”

“I had a long putt on the seventh, my 16th, for eagle after a lovely three wood in there, and had that popped in there I would have only had to birdie one of the last two to make it.”

“It was at the back of my mind, but I’m very happy with 61.”

“Sixty-one, it sounds good, doesn’t it? I played very nicely and putted very well again.” 

“My previous best was 63 in the third round of the Dunhill Links when I won. I was ten under after 12 holes that day and shot nine under.” 

“A nine under round there on that day with the wind picking up in the afternoon, was a good knock. Any time you’re nine under, in fact, is a decent effort.”

“I hit a lot of really good shots and it couldn’t have been much lower than that.”

“I’m usually moaning that I could have been three or four less, but that was pretty much all I could have got.” 

Wade was coming back from a long vacation in Australia, and must have been practicing with his putter, it worked like a dream;

“I’ve had five weeks off back in Australia and it’s nice to get back and on the front foot.”

“It was nice to finish like that. I had a hot putter there at the end, which made things a bit easier.” 

“I was getting a bit frustrated as I was hitting it really close but not holing anything, but I kept on giving myself good chances on the right side and eventually they started rolling in.”

“The wind only died down on the last three or four holes so it was tough out there. I said to Rich (Green) that we’d got the wrong side of the draw, but I’m not complaining now.” 

“That’s the lowest score I’ve had in any round, let alone tournament golf. I’ve worked pretty hard the last few weeks.”

Richard Bland is in third place, he carded a bogey free -8 under par 62, so I guess this is going to be a very low scoring tournament.

Richard was delighted to score 62, knowing he had not left any shots out on the course today;

“It’s nice to come off thinking I haven’t left any shots out there.”

“I hit a lot of good shots out there. It’s always nice to make a good start. It wasn’t easy, we probably had a two club wind most of the day. I gave myself some good chances and I’m really pleased with that.”

“I hit a good tee shot on the sixth just short of the green and pitched it in from 40 yards for an eagle two. Those are always a bonus.”

“It felt like most things went my way, when recently it’s felt the opposite and I haven’t got much out of rounds.” 

“It puts me in a good position but there’s a long way to go and I’m going to have to go a lot deeper, knowing the way the course is playing and how many great players are here.”

Englishmen James Morrison, David Horsey and Robert Rock,  joined the home favourite Joost Luiten and Argentina’s Estanislao Goya, all tied in fourth place with rounds of -7 under par 63.

KLM Open. Paul Picks Up The Trophy.

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Paul Casey picks up the KLM Open trophy at Kennemer Golf & Country Club in Holland.

KLM Open

Paul Casey / Getty Images

Paul carded a final round of -4 under par 66 to lift the KLM Open trophy with a tournament total of -14 under par. Looking at the names on this old trophy, it has been contested for over 90 years, he admitted that he was very honored to have his name inscribed alongside them. Paul is also a proud new dad, fiancée Pollyanna gave birth to the couple’s son on September 1;
I’m a bit emotional to be honest, it was very care free for three and a half days, because if I played well or poorly I was going to go home to see my baby, and then I got to the last three holes and I thought I really want this, not that he is old enough to understand.” 

“This tournament has been going for more than 90 years and looking at the names on the trophy, you have Seve, Langer, Payne Stewart. It’s got some great names so to add my name to that is a great honor.”

“Just having my first child was a great distraction. I had no expectations coming into the week and I did very little practice, although I’ve played good golf. Even flying in Wednesday morning to spend as much time at home as possible, so I was apprehensive as to how I was going to play.”

” I couldn’t have dreamed it would turn out this way. It’s not that I wasn’t trying my hardest on the course, but you just don’t know how it will turn out. I’m absolutely over the moon. First tournament as a Dad and first win as a Dad!”

In second place was fellow Englishman Simon Dyson, just one shot behind at -13 under par, Simon recorded a final round of -5 under par 65, and came so close to winning. To complete the round-up another English player captured third place, Andy Sullivan Aced the 15th on his way to posting -12 under par, and claiming the hole in one prize, a trip into space;

” It was such a rollercoaster out there today, and this week, so to top it off by going to space is great. I was on the comeback after a few bad holes and the caddie pulled out a nine iron and said try to cut it in there, luckily it came off and it went in.”

“I’m not sure if I’ll go, I’ll check with the missus. I’m not great with heights or flying! I might have to pluck up some coverage. I don’t think spaceman is a new nickname for me.”

“My daughter will think I’m the best dad in the world, a professional golfer and an astronaut, she’s got the best dad in the world! I’m going to have to pluck up some serious courage, but it is a once in a lifetime experience, so I’m going to have to do it.”

“My caddie just shouted to me, ‘we’re going to space’. I was in hysterics. It’s just an unreal experience. I didn’t play great through the round and then I hit a shot like that. I had two twos on there, but not been close to it. So I wasn’t really even thinking about it.”

“It’s been such a rollercoaster of a day. I just strapped myself in and went for the ride. Overall it’s been a great week and I’ve really enjoyed myself here at the KLM Open.”

KLM Open. Romain Relishes Maiden Victory

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Romain Wattel relishes his maiden victory on the European Tour, and it looks likely here at the KLM Open.

KLM Open

Romain Wattel / Getty Images

Romain produced a magnificent putting display to card a third round -6 under par 64 which took him to the top of the KLM Open leaderboard at Kennemar Golf & Country Club in Holland, with a -14 under par total, and a three shot lead for the final round.

He had plenty to say about his golf, and being in this position for the first time;

“I don’t know what the game plan is for tomorrow, I will think about that tonight. I was just trying to play as well as I could today. I knew I was playing well the last few weeks, so I just said to myself to play the best golf I could.” 

“I don’t know what the other players will do tomorrow, the only thing I can do is to do the best I can and concentrate on my own game. I played really good today. I struggled on the start with a poor tee shot on the first, but then I hit some good shots and got some confidence.”

“The last few weeks, the only thing I’ve struggled with is the ball flight of my irons. This week you have some tough shots, so I really managed to play some strong shots this week.”

“I’m not really affected by people saying I will definitely win on The European Tour. I know that if I play good enough I will win one day. Maybe that will be tomorrow, maybe it will be in two years. The most important thing for me is to play some good golf.” 

“I’m not in the top 100 in the world so I can’t play the Majors or the WGCs. So I’m just trying to improve my game week after week. I’m feeling confident, but even if I don’t win tomorrow it will have been a good week for me and I will try to keep doing the same, and maybe it will be next week.”

It is the first time I’ve led after three days, so it’s great. It won’t be easy tomorrow. They expect some winds, but I’m really happy with the situation I am in. It is always nice to be in the last group of the tournament, I like to be under pressure. It is in the tense moments that you produce your best shots.”

Three shots back is Richie Ramsay at -11 under par, he signed for a -5 under par 65 and is well in place to contend in the final round. Nearly recording a hole in one and a good golfing attitude pleases him greatly;

“My attitude pleased me today, I nearly got a hole in one on 11 again. It was playing tough, a front pin and it was a seven iron to four feet, so three shots in two days on the hole is a good effort.”

“I’ve been working on the mental side and being a bit more patient, and I’ve worked on the short irons. I was making too many mistakes. I’ve started making birdies now. It was a small change but it has worked.”

“I’m in a lovely position. The golf course played great again. It’s getting bouncy and favours shotmakers. I need the same attitude tomorrow, so I’m hoping to go out and enjoy it as you don’t get this sort of opportunity all the time.”

Third placed Paul Casey can not be ruled out, Paul came close to creating European Tour history today, his final approach shot of the day, on the 9th hit the pin and spun away off the green. If it had dropped it would have been a 59 for Paul, unfortunately he took three shots to get the ball in the hole, for a bogey and carded a -8 under par 62, and -10 under par total.The same form tomorrow could see him race up the leaderboard and put some pressure on those above him.

KLM Open. Pablo Larrazábal Shoots 62, to Lead

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Pablo Larrazábal carded a course record 62 at Kennemer Golf & Country Club to lead the KLM Open at the mid-way point.

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Record breaking Pablo Larrazábal / Getty Images

Starting on the 10th hole today Pablo scored  six consecutive birdies to card 28 strokes for the back nine, with three birdies and one bogey on the front gave him his 62 for the round, and a two shot lead over the field with a -10 under par tournament total.

Pablo spoke about the fast start, and how he was thinking of recording the first 59 on the European Tour;

“I started very fast with birdies on the first six holes and then I tried just to play golf and put myself in position to make some more but the round cooled down a little bit in the middle.” 

“After starting with six birdies I was thinking, it is a par 70, I only need five more for a first 59 on The European Tour. The middle of the round it cooled down but it was a great shot into the last to finish with a 62.”

“I was aware of the 59 more than the course record. I thought about the 59 when I started with six birdies. I thought I only need five more to make the magic number, but maybe I put pressure on a bit more. I’ve a few course records around Spain but none on The European Tour, so it is nice.”

“It is tough to make birdies here but I putted great. I worked on Wednesday with my coach and my reading is a lot better, I’m making putts. I’m hitting the ball good, not as good as the past, but I’m making putts.”

Second place is shared by Romain Wattle and Edoardo Molinari, both on -8 under par for the tournament, with Richie Ramsay, Soren Hansen and Peter Uihlein tied in fourth spot at -6 under par.

Peter almost matched Pablo’s brilliant outward 28, carding five birdies to race to the turn in 29 strokes.

Dutchman Joost Luiten was among the afternoon starters after his opening lead gave him a share of the lead on day one, but a second round of even par 70 stopped him making any further progress and he is now five shots back of the leader at -5 under par. Overnight co-leader Jamie McLeary  had to return early to complete his first round, but sadly dropped two shots before starting his second round, which did not fare so well, he carded +2 over par and is now out of contention at -1 under par for the tournament.

KLM Open. Joost and Jamie Share the Lead.

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Joost Luiten jumped into the lead to the delight of the Dutch spectators, but he has been joined at the top of the leaderboard by Jamie McLeary. Jamie has yet to complete his round, play was delayed due to an on course accident, and bad light then stopped play.

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Joost Luiten / Getty Images

Joost started the KLM Open with a -5 under par 65 at his home tournament, on the Kennemer Golf & Country Club course in Holland. He was obviously very happy to begin the tournament in style;

“It is always nice to shoot a 65, I played well and didn’t make any mistakes. That’s the key on this course, keep the ball in play and take your chances. For me it was a good solid round and I hit some nice spots.”

“You have to take your chances. Sometimes you can be conservative and take irons off the tee but if you feel good with the drive you have to hit it and make a tough hole into a birdie hole. It all depends how the winds but I was hitting my drive well and I tried to take advantage of that.”

A trio players are currently tied in third place, Gary Stal, Edorado Molinari and Andrea Pavan, all on -4 under par following their opening rounds of 66.

There was a delay during the round when Alexandre Kaleka, who was teeing off from the 14th tee box, had a wild swing, sending the ball down the 16th fairway. The ball fiercely striking Fabrizio Zanotti on the head and he needed medical treatment on the course, and was then taken to Hospital. He was accompanied by fellow players Felipe Aguilar and Ricardo Gonzalez, who withdrew from the tournament to stay with him.