Made In Denmark betting preview and tips from Ben Coley

Oliver Wilson in action in Doha
Oliver Wilson in action in Doha

Golf expert Ben Coley previews the Made In Denmark, with selections at 250/1 and 350/1 among his staking plan.

Recommended bets

1pt e.w. Andrea Pavan at 80/1 (1/5 1,2,3,4,5,6)

1pt e.w. Oliver Wilson at 100/1 (1/5 1,2,3,4,5,6,7)

1pt e.w. Michael Hoey at 250/1 (1/5 1,2,3,4,5,6)

0.5pt e.w. Joakim Lagergren at 350/1 (1/5 1,2,3,4,5,6)

Keen not to lose touch with the PGA Championship, the Made In Denmark has also moved forward in the calendar to spring and in doing so makes a welcome return to Himmerland Golf & Spa resort, where Thomas Bjorn won his very first professional title almost a quarter of a century ago.

Last year, Matt Wallace produced a stunning final round to win at Silkeborg, a performance which at the time looked like it might earn him a place in the European Ryder Cup side. Bjorn, who since winning in 1995 has established a reputation as a man who is nothing if not stubborn, stuck to the plan, selecting Sergio Garcia instead. The rest is history - quite literally after Garcia's exploits in Paris.

Wallace's victory leads nicely to the straightforward starting point here: players from the UK and Ireland. He saw off three fellow Englishmen in a play-off to join Dave Horsey and Marc Warren in winning this event. It's taken two (relative) behemoths in Julian Suri and Thomas Pieters to deny a clean sweep of British golfers since the Made In Denmark was added to the schedule and back in 2003, when Denmark hosted its first ever European Tour event, an Englishman beat a Scotsman.

This isn't a coincidence. Yes, players from the UK and Ireland account for a good chunk of every field - just over a quarter, in this case - but they've nevertheless outperformed expectations in Scandinavia. I believe it's because they benefit from the familiarity of cool, breezy conditions and similar golf courses to those back home, with none of the added pressure of an expectant crowd.

The theory works in reverse, too, as we saw when Sweden's Marcus Kinhult won the British Masters a fortnight ago at the expense of a clutch of locals. Fellow Scandinavians such as Bjorn, Soren Kjeldsen, Mikko Ilonen and Alex Noren have won in the British Isles, while it's been very hard to keep UK raiders out of the frame not only in this event but the Nordea Masters, too.

With a pair of Belgians, a South African, a Frenchman and a Spaniard towards the head of the betting, this makes for an interesting market - though I must confess I was seriously tempted to buck my own trend and plump for Erik van Rooyen.

This European Tour rookie, a winner in his native South Africa as well as on the Challenge Tour, has been knocking on the door lately and eighth place in last week's PGA Championship was a mighty effort.

Both Wallace and Warren won this title shortly after exceeding expectations in what was the season's final major, so with Mike Lorenzo Vera passing up another opportunity and Wallace having the distraction of defending, van Rooyen made plenty of appeal at first glance.

Throw in the fact that he's shown his hand on courses which are exposed, very much the key feature of Himmerland where the wind can seriously blow, and this winner-in-waiting is hard to leave out. Then again, he's around the 20/1 mark and along with Thomas Pieters I can't help but overlook the two players whose profiles I like the most for this.

Returning to the theory, I quite fancy Oliver Wilson here and three-figure prices look generous.

Hand on heart, I would have put Wilson up for the British Masters had illness not rendered me incapable of typing, and it was therefore difficult viewing on Sunday as he spent much of the afternoon in the places.

Given that things haven't exactly been going to plan over the last couple of months, missing out on a 40/1 place payout would've stung and I must confess that a late double-bogey for eighth place was welcome.

It also means we can have a crack at him under similar conditions but in a significantly weaker field, and this former Dunhill Links champion will be licking his lips at the prospect of a breezy, tricky test where various supreme scramblers have gone close to winning.

Wilson's scrambling stats have been excellent for a while now and he knows how to grind better than almost anyone on the circuit. More than once since he played Ryder Cup golf in 2008, he's been so lost that others in his position would've called it a day, but instead he's rolled his sleeves up and pieced his game back together.

Not even narrowly missing out on a European Tour card at the end of last season, despite two Challenge Tour wins, could put him off his stride and Wilson has responded with four top-10 finishes when handed starts out of his lowly category.

It's been really impressive, but because of how bad he has been it strikes me that the layers still won't take him seriously. That could be a real mistake now that he returns to Denmark.

Considering the state of his game at the time, I find it remarkable that he finished 26th here on his debut in 2016. Wilson ranked third in greens hit, too, so there was no fluke about what was by a distance his best result of the entire campaign.

Returning in 2017, and his slide had only worsened. Throughout arguably the most miserable year of his career, Wilson's best finish was 45th, yet again he went close to beating it here with a share of 60th which in relative terms was excellent.

Finally, he returned for the Challenge Tour event early last year and again played well, defying a slow start to finish 28th at a time when he was still looking for confidence.

In the intervening months, Wilson has found that confidence, and at 51st on the Race To Dubai he can start to plan for a full season in 2020. Five years after that shock Dunhill Links win and he might just be ready to back it up.

Paul Waring boasts a similar profile having played well at Himmerland twice before and cut through the pack for sixth place on home soil last time. His victory in Sweden last year further strengthens the case, but I didn't think there was much to choose between him and Wilson, yet the more decorated player is twice the price.

As such, I have to leave Waring out of the staking plan and turn instead to Michael Hoey, another lost soul working his way back.

Like Wilson, Hoey is relying on late call-ups for his starts this year which must be difficult. He was one of the last into the British Masters field and that's again been the case here.

So far, he's failed to capitalise in quite the same manner but form figures of 17-47-17-18-34-27-30 across both the European and Challenge Tour are rock solid, enough to suggest that under the right conditions he can bag that one big cheque he needs.

A five-time European Tour winner, Hoey is certainly good enough to take a chance should it arrive and with four of those victories having come on exposed courses where all his links pedigree could shine, Himmerland looks a nice fit.

Indeed he was fourth here on the Challenge Tour last year and 27th on the European Tour in 2015, so there's encouragement enough for a small bet at 250/1.

As mentioned in a preview earlier this year, Hoey turned 40 in February and has since started to hint that he might have something left to give at this level. Given where we are in the world, that he's bound to have been inspired a little by hosting a charity event at Open venue Portrush and that he's simply playing well, it won't shock me if he's in the mix at some stage.

There are others with more obvious credentials who have to be respected, the likes of Benjamin Hebert and Richie Ramsay, but I'll venture away from the theory and to Italy for my final strong selection.

Andrea Pavan has started to catch the eye of late, striking the ball really well for 15th in the British Masters having been 21st and 27th in two of his three starts in the run-up to Hillside.

It's a welcome return to form for a player who broke through to win in the Czech Republic last year, and if his iron play continues to improve he could be set for a big summer having turned 30 last month.

Pavan's credentials in this part of the world are stronger than many from the continent, as he won his first Challenge Tour event in Norway and finished sixth in Sweden prior to that victory in Prague.

Here at Himmerland, he ranked second in greens hit on his last visit, in 2015, and a repeat would surely see him improve on a share of 27th now that he's broken his duck.

Returning to England and Chris Paisley was tempting enough at a similar price to Pavan. He landed the each-way money for us in this event a couple of years ago at 200/1 and has since become a winner whose form in 2019 is not all that bad.

He's respected along with youngster Jack Singh Brar, a player bound to go far and one finding greens for fun during this promising rookie campaign. By contrast, Ben Evans is enduring a miserable run but this is ideal for him and an upturn wouldn't surprise, and nor would back-to-back wins for Kinhult.

However, my final selection is a really speculative one with Joakim Lagergren worth backing to small stakes.

A European Tour winner by the coast in Sicily last year, truth be told he's been in an inexorable decline since, failing to register a top-10 finish and, more recently, missing cut after cut.

Indeed Lagergren is yet to earn a cheque in 2019, so it's likely asking too much for him to suddenly pop up here, but there are one or two positives to pin hopes to.

Firstly, he shot his best round of 2019 at Hillside last time we saw him in action. A second-round 69 might not have been enough for a weekend tee-time, but it was most certainly a step in the right direction having averaged over 76 in his six previous starts.

Secondly, he very nearly made the cut, bogeying two of his final three holes and missing on the number, so again we are at least talking about a player who arrives on the back of his best performance of the year - even if it does still leave him with a mountain to climb.

And thirdly, Lagregren would be a serious contender here at his best, and that best golf has come under similar conditions, including when opening with a round of 62 on his way to fifth place here when Pieters won in 2016.

Lagergren was threatening to spoil the Pieters party until a foul ball off the final tee and maybe, just maybe, there's been enough time between Hillside and now to have made further progress and rediscover the scoring touch he had back then.

He need not look far for inspiration, as Kinhult's form prior to the British Masters read MC-MC-MC-MC. Under the sort of conditions we know will suit, Lagregren is better than a 350/1 chance, however horribly he's played for the last few months.

Posted at 2000 BST on 20/05/19.

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