European Tour fan 'beats the pros' at KLM Open

Lauren Hillebrand
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Four-handicap Lauren Hillebrand earned herself two return flights anywhere in Europe after beating the pros at the KLM Open on Thursday.
By T.J. Auclair
PGA.com
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Series: Golf Buzz

Published: Thursday, September 14, 2017 | 8:27 a.m.

The KLM Open is going on this week on the European Tour in the Netherlands.

Probably the coolest aspect of this tournament is how the organizers get the spectators involved with its "beat the pros" promotion.

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From EuropeanTour.com: 

For the second year, the 14th hole at The Dutch will host the Beat The Pro challenge on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Each group of pros will be joined by a fan in a closest to the pin challenge on the 133 yard par 3.

The concept, formulated by tournament sponsors KLM and ING Private Banking, was a huge success in 2016 and with the support of the players the challenge will be played over three days this time around, compared to just two days last year.

Once each of the pros has hit their tee shot in front of the stadium crowd on the 14th hole, a fan will be introduced to the tee and have one shot to try and hit inside the shots of the professionals. In addition to local fans and competition winners, Dutch sport stars, including footballer Durk Kuyt, will also take on the Beat The Pro challenge.

If an amateur is successful in "beating the pros", he/she will win two return flights anywhere in Europe, courtesy of the tournament sponsor KLM.

On Thursday in Round 1, a 4-handicap named Lauren Hillebrand did just that:

What a terrific shot.
 

T.J. Auclair is a Senior Interactive Producer for PGA.com and has covered professional golf since 1998, traveling to over 60 major championships. You can follow him on Twitter, @tjauclair.