Poulter Hoping to Pounce

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2004 KLM OpenThe European Tour arrives this week in the Netherlands for one of the oldest events in the world, the KLM Open - formally known as the Dutch Open - at the Hilversumsche Golf Course in Hilversum.
 
But due to its awkward place on the European Tour schedule, many of the tour's top players have already made their way across the Atlantic for the years final major, the PGA Championship.
 
That, however, leaves the door open for several players to step up and add to their growing celebrity.

And no one more so than England's Ian Poulter.
 
Poulter, who perhaps is known as much for his extravagant hairstyles and outfits than for his budding talents on tour, is still in search of his first title of the 2004 campaign after racking up a two wins last year.
 
Despite not visiting the winner's circle this season, he has notched five top 10s and ranks 20th on the tour's Order of Merit. More importantly though, is his standing on the European Ryder Cup points list.
 
Currently hanging on to the 9th position on the European side for entry onto the team for the 35th Ryder Cup this September at Oakland Hills CC, Poulter needs a good showing to further his cause for making the team. It would be the 29-year-old Poulter's first-ever Ryder Cup squad.
 
Another player hoping to grab the local fan's attention is the defending champion Maarten Lafeber. It will not be hard to do, as the local boy became the first home winner of the country's premier event in 56 years. His one shot victory last year also happened to be his first ever on the European Tour.
 
Lafeber will be joined by fellow countryman Robert-Jan Derksen and 2002 champion Tobias Dier. Dier won the 2002 edition in wire-to-wire fashion after tying the European Tour record with a 60 in the opening round.
 
First played in 1912, and an official event on the European Tour since 1972, The KLM Open has a total purse of $1,813,436 with $302,236 going to the winner.
 
Past champions include Bernhard Langer, Seve Ballesteros, Jos Maria Olazabal, Payne Stewart, Colin Montgomerie and Lee Westwood.
 
The Golf Channel will broadcast all four rounds live beginning Thursday at 9:30 a.m. ET.
 
Related links:
  • TGC Airtimes

  • Full Coverage - The KLM Open