Cape Town – Home favourite Joost Luiten is keen to make up for lost time when he tees it up at the 100th edition of the KLM Open in Amsterdam.
The 33-year-old was forced to miss last year’s event at The Dutch due to a wrist injury which sidelined the six-time European Tour winner for five months.
However, Luiten remains optimistic ahead of this week’s event, which will be hosted at The International for the first time.
“I am really excited. I missed it last year and I was gutted I couldn’t play because of my wrist operation but that is also part of being a professional golfer, sometimes you need to take care of your body. So I’m really happy to be back,” he said.
Luiten – a two time winner of his national open – overcame Spaniard Miguel Ángel Jiménez in a play-off in 2013 at Kennemer Golf & Country Club before going on to win by three shots at The Dutch in 2016.
If he was to add another trophy to his cabinet this week, the Dutchman would join an elite group of Seve Ballesteros, Bernhard Langer and Simon Dyson as the only players to secure three triumphs in his homeland.
“I love this event. I have done well in the past, I’ve won it twice and had a couple good results, so for some reason this always feels like my event really and hopefully we can take that feeling on to the golf course again,” said Luiten.
Meanwhile, two-time Major champion Martin Kaymer returns to action after a five week break following his tied 20th result at the Scottish Open in July.
Kaymer is a former winner of this event claiming victory in 2010 at Hilversumsche Golf Club and after recharging his batteries away from golf, the German is looking for a strong finish to his 2019 Race to Dubai campaign.
“I needed a break after that super, super busy summer of going from one tournament straight to another and I couldn’t prepare for tournaments anymore, so I needed a break and I didn’t really know how long I needed a break for,” said Kaymer.
“I feel very relaxed. I don’t really know what to expect this week because I haven’t really done much because I didn’t really feel like practising that much, but it is a great week to enjoy the game.”
Compiled by: Lynn Butler