The Dutch Open was first played back in 1912 and has been a mainstay on the European Tour since the organisation’s inception in 1972. Airline KLM backed the tournament between 1981 and 1990 and returned as title sponsors in 2004.
The tournament has been played at a number of venues throughout the Netherlands however Kennemer Golf & Country Club in Zandvoort and Hilversumsche Golf Club in Hilversum have been the most frequently used in recent years.
Since joining the European Tour, three players have recorded a hattrick of wins. Englishman Simon Dyson won in 2006, 2009 and 2011 whilst the late, great Seve Ballesteros was victorious in 1976, 1980 and 1986.
The most successful player in the tournament’s history was Belgian Flory Van Donck who had five wins between 1936 and 1953. Van Donck may have added even more titles to his total without the outbreak of World War II which led to the cancellation of the event between 1940 and 1945. Although Flory Van Donck didn’t win a major, he was second at the Open in 1956 and 1959.
|Bernardus Golf||Cromvoirt, Netherlands||7,200 Yards||€1,000,000|
KLM Open Recent Winners
|Year||Winner||Course||To Par||Winning Margin|
|2019||Sergio Garcia||The International||-18||1 Stroke|
|2018||Wu Ashun||The Dutch||-16||1 Stroke|
|2017||Romain Wattel||The Dutch||-15||1 Stroke|
|2016||Joost Luiten||The Dutch||-19||3 Strokes|
|2015||Thomas Pieters||Kennemer||-19||1 Stroke|
|2014||Paul Casey||Kennemer||-14||1 Stroke|
About the KLM Open
The KLM Open, which was previously known as the Dutch Open, is played annually on the European Tour in the Netherlands. The tournament was founded in 1912 and has been a European Tour event since the tour was created in 1972. It has been played at various venues around the country and has seen winners from all around the globe.
The competition has had various sponsors over the years, with Dutch airline company KLM sponsoring the event from 2004. TNT, Sun Microsystems and Heineken have also sponsored this European Tour tournament in the past.
The Various Homes of the KLM Open
As mentioned, the KLM Open has taken place at a whole host of venues throughout its existence. Hilversumsche Golf Club in North Holland has hosted the most Dutch Opens, with 30 to its name. It was also held at Royal Haagsche Golf and Country Club 20 times in the country’s governmental home The Hague, with the last of those being in 1981.
Kennemer Golf and Country Club in Zandvoort has been the tournament’s home on 23 occasions. The event has also been held in Utrecht, Amsterdam and Eindhoven, among other places in the Netherlands.
|Times Held at Venue||Tournament Locations|
|30||Hilversumsche Golf Club (Hilversum)|
|23||Kennemer Golf & Country Club (Zandvoort)|
|20||Royal Haagsche Golf & Country Club (The Hague)|
|9||Noordwijkse Golf Club (Noordwijk)|
|6||Eindhovensche Golf (Eindhoven)|
|3||Utrechtse Golf Club (Utrecht), The Dutch (Spijk)|
|2||Golfclub Toxandria (Breda)|
|1||Doornsche Golf Club (Utrecht), Domburgsche Golfclub (Domburg), Rosendaelsche Golfclub (Arnhem), The International (Amsterdam)|
Lafeber Wins on Home Turf in 2003
The first Dutchman to win the Dutch Open was Gerry del Court van Krimpen way back in 1915, which was the second ever event. However, since the tournament became a European Tour event, the Dutch supporters have not seen many home winners.
No players from Holland won this Open until Eindhoven man Maarten Lafeber prevailed in 2003. Lafeber beat Swede Mathias Gronberg and Dane Soren Hansen by a stroke to win his one and only European Tour competition. He wasn’t the last man from the Netherlands to win the even though.
Luiten’s Two Victories
Ten years after Lafeber became the first Dutch winner since Joop Ruhl’s victory in 1947, the Netherlands fans celebrated another home winner in 2013. This time, Joost Luiten ran out as the winner in a playoff at Kennemer. He was pushed all the way by Miguel Angel Jimenez, but Luiten held his nerve in the playoff to come out on top.
Three years after his victory at Kennemer, Luiten was KLM Open champion once again. It was less stressful for Joost this time, as the Dutchman posted an impressive score of 265 (19 under par) to secure a three-stroke success over Austrian Bernd Wiesberger. At the time of writing, Luiten remains the last player from Holland to win this tournament.
Dyson Wins Three of Six
York-born Simon Dyson won six European Tour events during his career, with three of those victories coming on Dutch soil. Since 1972, Dyson has the joint best record in the KLM Open, with greats of the game Seve Ballesteros and Bernhard Langer also picking up three wins each.
Dyson’s first two wins were at Kennemer, beating Richard Green in a playoff in 2006 before needing another playoff to see off Peter Hedblom and Peter Lawrie in 2009. Dyson’s third victory was a single-stroke triumph over fellow English player David Lynn at Hilversumsche in 2011. To date, Dyson’s three KLM victories represent half of his European Tour win, with the Indonesian Open (2006), the Alfred Dunhill Link Championship (2009) and the Irish Open (2011) being the other three.
Garcia Wins the 100th Open
The 100th version of the KLM Open was won by the great Sergio Garcia in 2019. In the first Open to be held at The International course in the capital, Garcia picked up his first KLM Open win.
Sergio held his nerve at the end of a thrilling tournament to beat Danish man Nicolai Hojgaard by a stroke in Amsterdam. It was his first European Tour victory since winning the Andalucia Valderrama Masters in October 2018.
The man from Borriol, Castellón has won plenty of tournaments over the years but at the time of writing he still, surprisingly given his immense talent, only has one major to his name: the Masters from 2017.
Winners From Far and Wide
As with many European Tour events, the KLM Open has seen winners from many countries around the world.
One of the more far flung destinations from which a winner has originated is China, with Wu Ashun winning here in 2019. That victory made him the first Chinese player to have won three tournaments on the European Tour (having already won the China Open and the Lyoness Open in 2016).
Argentina might not be a country exactly renowned for its golfing prowess, but it has produced three winners of this tournament over the years: Roberto De Vincenzo in 1950, Antonio Cerda in 1956, and Vincente Fernandez in 1970.
Players from South Africa and Australia have also have numerous wins over the years, as well as from all across Europe.