The European Tour returns to Belgium for the first time in 18 years this week for the inaugural Belgian Knockout. Ryder Cup star Thomas Pieters hosts the tournament, which features an innovative new format. After two rounds of standard stroke-play golf, the 64 leading players will face each other in nine-hole stroke-play matches. It is the European Tour’s latest attempt to offer a different format in a bid to appeal to a wider audience. This follows in the footsteps of the World Super 6 and the Golf Sixes, which was won by Ireland’s Paul Dunne and Gavin Moynihan at Centurion Club a fortnight ago.
Belgian Knockout Favourites
The unusual nature of this tournament means the bookmakers have got no clear favourite. Bet365 have taken the bold step of offering best odds about the majority of the leading players. Pieters and Joost Luiten lead the market, each at 30/1*. Jorge Campillo, who has been one of the European Tour’s form-players in recent weeks, is at 35/1*. Adrian Otaegui and Jordan Smith are each available at 40s*. The Belgian challenge is bolstered by Thomas Detry at 50/1* and Nicolas Colsaerts at 60/1* with Betfred.
Belgian Knockout Tips
Lucas Herbert was third at the World Super 6 in Perth earlier in the year, on the back of a string of good results on the Australasian Tour. He has since missed three successive cuts, but he was back in the groove last week, finishing tied third. That took him into the world’s top 150 for the first time, rising 550 places higher in just six months. Ladbrokes, Coral and Betfred are each offering him at 66/1*.
Last August Andrea Pavan was outside the world’s top 1000 players, but the 29-year-old Italian has made impressive progress since then. He may be a late developer, but he’s finished 21st or better on seven of his last eight starts. Pavan tied for third in Morocco and a took a share of ninth place in Sicily on Sunday. As a result, he looks like a good each-way bet at 45/1* with Bet365 or Betfred.
We’ve followed Campillo’s progress closely over the past few months, tipping him three times including when he finished fifth at the Open de Espana and third at the China Open. He has been in the top five at four of his last six tournaments and we’ll be backing him to keep the run going at the Belgian Knockout. He’s as short as 25/1* with Coral, with Bet365 offering that top price of 35/1*.
*All odds are subject to change.