Sep 16th, 2021
McDowell looking forward to Dutch Open return
Northern Irishman tees it up for first time in 17 years
Photography: Getty Images
The Northern Irishman took two months off to recuperate from a forearm injury over the summer, returning to action last week at the BMW PGA Championship to finish tied 49th, and while the 11-time European Tour winner admits he has one eye on his vice captaincy role for Team Europe at the Ryder Cup in Whistling Straits next week, the key focus remains on his own game this week.
“I had to pull up the European Tour website to find out the last time I was here for the Dutch Open and it was 2004, so here we are 17 years later, so delighted to be here first and foremost but when I saw the facilities here at Bernardus, it’s probably one of the best practice facilities that we ever see. The chipping areas, the putting greens, and the range is all five star," said McDowell .
Joost Luiten is thrilled to be back at his national open after the event was cancelled last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Fans will be out in force to cheer on the 35-year-old as he attempts to claim a third victory on home soil having previously won the event in 2013 and 2016.
“It was a shame to miss it, but we all know what the situation was in the world. I think last year was probably a good decision not to have it because if we couldn’t have any spectators, why would we have the tournament. At the end of the day, those people make the event, and it is good to see them back in some decent numbers this week," said Luiten.
The six-time European Tour winner regularly practices at Bernardus Golf alongside another former winner of the Dutch Open in Thomas Pieters, who routinely makes the journey from Belgium to make use of the world-class facilities on offer to the players.
The Belgian recorded his second top ten of the year last week and is currently 69th in the Race to Dubai Rankings in Partnership with Rolex, and will be hoping for a strong finish to his season to make sure he will tee it up at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.