Belgian Knockout Betting Tips & Preview – Thursday 17th May 2018

The European Tour’s continuing desire to innovate and attract new fans to golf continues this week with a brand new tournament, the Belgian Knockout. It’s a hybrid event containing two rounds of stroke play before the top 64 players advance to the knockout stage of the tournament. The nine hole stroke play matches will be played to their conclusion as the players are whittled down to just the winner.

The complicated nature of the Belgian Knockout does not make this an easy tournament for punters. There are a few things to go on though. The composite course at Rinkven International Golf Club should play into the hands of players who will keep their ball in play and not make mistakes while avoiding bogeys is a solid strategy for the short stroke play matches.

There are few players with a better bogey avoidance on the European Tour than Joost Luiten. He also ranks well in terms of his driving accuracy and strokes gained approaching the green so the Dutch star should prove to be a very difficult opponent in Belgium.

Top Tips

Joost Luiten @ 28/1

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

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Course Info

The format of the Belgian Knockout is further complicated by the fact that it’s being played on a composite course. Nine holes from the North and South courses at Rinkven International will be in play on the first two days while Saturday’s matches will be split over the two nines. The South Course is the tighter, more fiddly in nature while the North Course most rewards bigger hitting off the tee.

Quality ball strikers have had the best of it in the limited previous professional and top level amateur events played at Rinkven so it could pay to support players who gain a high percentage of their strokes approaching the greens.

CourseLocationLengthPrize Money
South & North Courses, Rinkven International GC Antwerp, Belgium 6,924Yards €1,000,000

Analysis: Steady Golf the Order of the Day in Antwerp

It’s not just punters who have to get their heads around the quirky format of the Belgian Knockout. The players must work out a new course and at the right balance between aggressive and conservative golf. The stroke play matches will be seeded based on finishing positions in the two round stroke play section of the tournament so it could pay to play aggressively early on but the shorter matches leave little time to make up for mistakes which is why a patient approach could be key.

Luiten’s Quality to See Him Through

There are many ways for players to approach the Belgian Knockout and we’ll learn a lot about the tournament as it goes on. It could be, however, that the best approach is to not worry too much about strategy and simply try to hit top class golf shots. In that respect, Joost Luiten looks worth his place towards the top of the outright betting.

With six European Tour wins, Luiten knows all about real golfing pressure so should be able to approach the week in a calm manner. In terms of his golf game, Luiten has the combination of reliable driving and top class iron play to suggest he’ll be a frustrating opponent in the stroke play matches so consider backing him to win the Belgian Knockout at 28/1 with Bet365.

Steady Hand Keiffer Worthy of Consideration

While new tournaments like the Belgian Knockout can struggle to attract the best players they do present a wonderful opportunity to those who are yet to win on the European Tour. Max Kieffer is one of many on tour who hasn’t quite been able to see out a tournament but that could all change at Rinkven International.

Kieffer first caught the attention of most golf fans when he broke the record for the number of consecutive cuts made on the European Tour in 2015. His form has been much more up and down since then but the German remains very steady at this level and only a handful of European Tour players rank better in terms of bogey avoidance. That approach could pay dividends this week so back Kieffer each way at 80/1 with Ladbrokes.

Pieters to Go Deep in His Event

This week marks the return of the European Tour to Belgium for the first time in 18 years. That’s a very big deal for Belgian golf fans but a particularly big deal for Thomas Pieters who is hosting the tournament alongside his sister. Pieters needs to find his best golf very quickly is he is to have any chance of making the European Ryder Cup team. Making it to Paris and the rigours of hosting have only ramped up the pressure on Pieters this week but he’s thrived under huge pressure before so he could be worth backing to finish in the final four at 11/2 with Bet365.

Final Verdict: Joost Luiten to Win

The Belgian Knockout is much more than an exhibition for the players but it is very much a novelty event for fans and punters. Whether you want to side with out and out quality or with players desperate to claim that illusive first European Tour win, both Luiten and Kieffer look good value. The nod tentatively goes to Luiten because he is a proven entity at this level and has the mentality not to be phased by the new format.

About

The Belgian Knockout was previously known as the Belgian Open and was a fairly successful tour stop, which had been running since 1910. The decline of the golf within the country unfortunately meant that the tournament was stopped after the 2000 event, but returned under a new name in 2018 as the Belgian Knockout.

The tournament now sees a very different structure. The players play 36 holes of strokeplay over the first two days, before then the tournament switches to match play in a 9-hole knockout format. It's radical change up to the majority of European Tour events, but this was one tournament that was highlighted where the switch up could be great for golf within the nation, and in this case, Belgium.

The tournament will have a host each year whose role it is to try and drum up some interest in the event. In 2018 the inaugural host is that of Belgian Thomas Pieters, a popular player on tour and one that will likely do well in the roll. Whilst the format will definitely be new to most players, it should be able to bring in the crowds as Belgium sees a return to professional golf for the first time in 18 years.

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