It’s time for a new event on the European Tour this week as we head to Antwerp for the Belgian Knockout.
Hosted by Ryder Cup star and three-time European Tour winner Thomas Pieters, the tournament will take place at Rinkven International Golf Club.
The four-day event will use a mixture of both strokeplay and matchplay.
“I played a lot of matchplay when I was young and I loved it, I still love it,” he told the European Tour’s website.
Pieters also revealed that he took inspiration from Niall Horan: “Having nine-hole matchplay might have been a bit harsh if you’re four down after five, so I saw a tournament on the Challenge Tour which Niall Horan hosted in Northern Ireland with the same format that we’re doing now.
“I liked it because I saw some interesting finishes, because it’s not over until the final hole because it’s strokeplay – matchplay.
“That’s why I chose it, you have to battle until the end and you can be five shots back after three holes and still come out on top.”
What is the Belgian Knockout format?
The starting field of 144 players will play 36 holes of strokeplay over the first two days, just like any other standard event.
The cut will be made after the second round on Friday, where the top 64 players advance to the weekend.
On Saturday, the field is split into two groups, and within each group, three rounds of knockout matches will take place over just nine holes.
At the end of the day, eight players will remain, and the knockout matches resume on Sunday until a winner is crowned.
Other things to know
When the field of 64 is split into two groups, one group will play the front-nine, while the other group plays the back-nine.
On the weekend, players will be seeded based on their position at the end of the 36-holes of strokeplay.
If a match is tied at the end of nine holes, a play-off will be used to determine the winner.