Jonathan Caldwell will get the Made in HimmerLand underway in the opening group on Thursday where he will be joined by Paul Dunne, Cormac Sharvin and Gavin Moynihan in Denmark.
Caldwell tees off alongside Pep Angles and Jamie Lovemark with the Clandeboye man hoping to build on some encouraging signs after an opening 68 at the Omega European Masters.
The 2021 Scandinavian Mixed winner backed that up with a second round 70 but unfortunately missed the cut by one, extending his run of missed cuts to seven on the bounce.
Greystones native Dunne is hoping to get back to weekend golf after two fruitful weeks at the ISPS Handa World Invitational and Cazoo Open were followed by successive missed cuts.
The 2017 British Masters winner has slipped outside the top 1400 in the world rankings – a number which is an insult to the talent he has. But after two years of injury hell, the results haven’t been forthcoming in his first season back to full competitive golf.
Dunne tees off at 9am alongside Angel Hidalgo and Jens Dantorp.
Sharvin was forced to withdraw from the Omega European Masters after an opening round of 79, which will come as a shame for the Ardglass native who roared through the field the week before en route to a career-best 13th place finish at the Czech Masters.
He can still take massive confidence from a potentially career-changing week where a superb final round of 66 saw him rocket up the leaderboard in Prague.
The 29-year-old is among the afternoon starters at 13.20 with Huilin Zhang and Carlos Pigem.
Moynihan is on the brink of dropping outside the top 2000 in the world but did end a run of five successive missed cuts with a 52nd place finish at the Indoor Golf Group Challenge with rounds of 70, 68 and 70. It was only the third time the Dubliner has posted rounds in the 60s this term and only his second made cut of the season.
The Island GC man has been placed in an intriguing three-ball with Englishman Tom Lewis and France’s Benjamin Hebert. A three-ball of players who perhaps haven’t lived up to their potential.
Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald will be making his return to European soil ahead of three successive tournaments on the DP World Tour which includes Wentworth and the Italian Open at the Ryder Cup venue Marco Simone GC.
“I wanted to be over in Europe a little more and obviously I’ll be there next week and in Italy as well, but this week was a great chance to come over here and spend a little bit of time with my Vice Captains Thomas Bjørn and Edoardo Molinari as they’re both in the field,” he said.
“I’ve always supported the DP World Tour and have been a full Member for many years now, but I’ll be over in Europe a little bit more and keeping an eye on some of the players – playing with some of the guys that I haven’t played with or known very well.
“Those up-and-coming stars who might have an opportunity to make a Ryder Cup, and I haven’t seen their game yet. It’s important, the last month since I’ve taken this job I’ve been following the scores a little more closely, but it’s nice to be in the tournaments with them, see how they’re acting, see how they’re playing. Nothing beats actually being there rather than watching from home so it’s a great opportunity for me.
“There will be some changes this year obviously, we’ve gone for three players off the European Points List and three from the World Points List and six picks. It’s certainly a little bit of a change from past years but certainly myself and Edoardo especially, we did a deep dive into some statistical analysis and really thought this was going to give us the best opportunity to have the strongest team for Rome.
“It will give me some flexibility to create some great pairings, and to have the most in-form players available for a pick next September.”
Donald who replaced Henrik Stenson as the European skipper will be making his first appearance in the Made in HimmerLand and he is relishing the famous atmosphere this event generates.
“It’s my first time to Denmark actually,” he said. “I’ve crossed through Copenhagen Airport briefly but I haven’t spent any time here so it will be great to meet some of the locals, some of the fans – I know a lot of fans come to this tournament and create a great atmosphere.
“I played the first ten holes, beautiful course in great condition, looks like we’re going to have a great week of weather. It’s a fun little course, there are a few different strategies off the tee. I know 16 is a fun hole for the week with HimmerLand Hill and all the spectators that surround it.
“My game is better this year to where it was last year, there is certainly room for improvement, I’ve been working hard on my game and hope to be competing while I’m keeping an eye on my players as Captain. I’ll work hard on it and hopefully we’ll have some good weeks.”
- Tee Times here