BELGIAN KNOCKOUT PREVIEW: BETTING TIPS, TV TIMES, AND WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
The European Tour heads to Belgium this week for the second edition of the Belgian Knock Out, hosted by Thomas Pieters.
Last year, Adrian Otaegui beat out Benjamin Hebert in the final of the inaugural, innovative Belgian Knockout with a nine hole score of 32 (-3) for his second European Tour victory, with Scotsman David Drysdale finishing in third.
It was the first time a Tour event had come to the country since 2000, and the Belgian trio of Pieters, Nicolas Colsaerts and Thomas Detry are relishing the return of the event in 2019.
“I think it was spectacular,” said Detry, who comes to the event in good form as he searches for his maiden European Tour victory. “The course was really fun. Whenever you made a birdie there was a lot of people. It was pretty special.”
“The tree-lined venue made it packed,” said Colsaerts. “You could play a few holes where it was lined up on each side and people surrounding the greens, it was actually quite cool to feel that buzz and having the chance to do that at home is something.”
“It’s cool to know 95 per cent of the crowd personally,” Pieters added. “It’s a cool feeling and I look forward to many more years of that.”
Course: Rinkven International GC, Antwerp, Belgium
Prize Fund: €1,000,000
Race to Dubai Points: 2,000
Defending Champion: Adrian Otaeugi
Thursday and Friday: On the first two days of the tournament, 144 players will play 18 holes of Stroke Play. There will then be a cut on Friday evening to 64 players, where the field is split in to two groups of 32 and will be seeded based on their performance on the first two rounds.
Saturday: Players will compete in ‘one on one’ stroke play matches over 9 holes (with each match alternating between the front and back nine holes of the course). The losing player in each match will be immediately eliminated from the tournament. The winner will continue to the next round, playing a maximum of three rounds of 9 holes on Saturday until the field has been reduced from 64 to eight (four from each bracket). *
Sunday: Further ‘one on one’ stroke play matches over 9 holes for the last eight players until a winner is crowned.
*If there is a draw a playoff will decide who places for the next round. Game on!
Thursday: Sky Sports Golf (11:00), Sky Sports Golf (15:00)
Friday: Sky Sports Golf (11:00), Sky Sports Golf (15:00)
Saturday: Sky Sports Golf (12:00)
Sunday: Sky Sports Golf (11:30)
BELGIAN KNOCKOUT: BETTING TIPS
A closer look at the top 10 bookies favourites
THOMAS PIETERS: 22/1
This week’s host was knocked out in the round of 64 last year, but finished T11 in the similar World Super 6 early this year and has gone T23-T23-T33 in his last three starts on the PGA and European Tour. Ranks 10th birdie average, 14th scoring average, 22nd SG: Tee to green and 23rd SG: Off the tee.
ADRIAN OTAEGUI: 28/1
The defending champion has had mixed success in 2019 that includes six missed cuts and two top 10s – but one of those was a runner-up finish at the World Super 6 Perth, proving he excels in these match style formats. T16 at last week’s Made in Denmark. Best stat is 40th in Driving Accuracy.
THOMAS DETRY: 28/1
Excluding a WD at the Volvo China Open, Detry hasn’t missed a cut since October and has gone T9-T15-T33 in his last three starts. Searching for his maiden Tour title in front of home crowds this week, and was knocked out in round of 64 last year. Ranks 16th birdie average and 24th SG: Putting.
BERND WIESBERGER: 33/1
Last week’s winner returned to the winner’s circle after missing seven months of last year with a wrist injury, and is making his debut this week. Other than win, a T14 at the Volvo China Open is his best start in 2019. Ranks 20th GIR and 26th SG: Approach.
RICHIE RAMSAY: 33/1
Another steady week has Ramsay with T5 and two top-15s in his last three starts, so heads to Belgium in form. Finished T46 here last year. Best stat is 51st in driving accuracy.
PABLO LARRAZABAL: 40/1
Back to back top 10s on the European Tour for Larrazabal at the Made in Denmark and British Masters, and is making his Knockout debut this week. Ranks 31st for birdie average.
ROBERT MACINTYRE: 40/1
The young Scottish player has posted back-to-back runner-up finishes at both the Made in Denmark and British Masters, and finished 5th at the World Super 6 Perth earlier this year – so we’re marking him as one to watch this week. Ranks 37th scoring average and 47th SG: Off the tee on the European Tour.
ROMAIN LANGASQUE: 40/1
Quietly recorded three top 10s in his last five starts in Denmark last week, the Volvo China Open and Magical Kenya Open. MC here last year but scoring a lot better. Ranks 20th SG: Off the tee, 25th scoring average and 37th SG: Putting.
MATTHIAS SCHWAB: 45/1
Second top 10 in his last four starts at the Made in Denmark last week, and finished T28 here last year. Ranks 24th for par-4 scoring, 25th for scrambling and 39th for SG: Around the green.
BENJAMIN HEBERT: 45/1
Hebert has had a slight dip in form since he recorded top 10s at the Maybank Championship and Volvo China Open (MC-T51 in his last two starts), but he was the runner-up here last year and had missed the cut prior to this event, too. Ranks 16th SG: Approach the green.