Bored of the usual strokeplay grind? Well a week in Antwerp might be just for you. Let’s have a look at my Belgian Knockout betting tips…
The venue: Rinkven International, Antwerp, Belgium
Date: May 30-June 2, 2019
Course stats: Par 71, 6,924 yards
Course summary: A composite course of the 36-holes on site will be used for a format that is two rounds of strokeplay with 64 qualifiers playing 9-hole knockouts over the weekend. A tree-lined layout, water is prevalent on eight holes and accuracy from the tee is essential as the rough is very tricky.
Purse: €1 million
Defending champion: Adrian Otaegui
Thursday: Sky Sports Golf, 11am; Sky Sports Golf, 3pm.
Friday: Sky Sports Golf, 11am; Sky Sports Golf, 3pm.
Saturday: Sky Sports Golf, 12pm.
Sunday: Sky Sports Golf, 11.30am.
Belgian Knockout betting tips: Steve’s players to follow
With a succession of 9-hole head-to-head games needing negotiating on the final two days – a format that has the potential to be a complete lottery to me – I want to keep things relatively simple and concentrate on players who are in good form and might at least make the 64 qualifiers.
From there, it’s anyone’s guess.
He missed the cut 12 months ago, but no one can argue he hasn’t made some serious strides since then. He should also enjoy the head-to-head aspect if he progresses – Langasque won the Amateur Championship in 2015.
It might feel like I’m getting on the gravy train a little too late here, but Robert MacIntyre (40/1) has only narrowly missed out on a maiden win over the last two weeks.
The way he approached the final rounds at the British Masters and the Made in Denmark suggested to most people a player who might soon get over the hump. This field isn’t nearly as good as what he’s faced in the last couple of weeks.
The knockout format isn’t quite matchplay but MacIntyre definitely enjoys the cut-and-thrust of man-to-man combat. Only Scott Gregory beat him at the 2016 Amateur Championship and he took a point and a half from Cameron Champ in singles at the 2017 Walker Cup.
Matthew Southgate (50/1) returned to form with a top 10 at Himmerland and that seems significant given his run to the last 16 here a year ago. Southgate narrowly went down to eventual winner Adrian Otaegui with a score that would have been good enough to win most of the other clashes.
Belgian Knockout betting tips: Notables
Thomas Pieters (22/1) will be keen to do well as his family have organised and promoted the whole event.
That didn’t help much 12 months ago as he lost at the first knockout stage and, for a guy who is heading the betting markets, his recent form is best described as average.
Most of the European Tour’s top flight have left this tournament well alone but, even so, it will need a significant upturn in performance to see him lifting this trophy.
But, in general and particularly considering the struggle of coming back from long-term injury last year, it would be no surprise if the Austrian let his hair down this week.
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