OTAEGUI WINS BELGIAN KNOCKOUT
Adrian Otaegui claimed a second European Tour title after defeating Benjamin Hebert in the final of the inaugural Belgian Knockout held at Rinkven International Golf Club, near Antwerp.
The new tournament, which was hosted by Thomas Pieters, was played over 90 holes, with 36 holes of stroke play on Thursday and Friday cutting the field from 144 to 64, followed by six rounds of nine-hole knockout stroke play to determine a winner.
Spaniard Otaegui and Frenchman Hebert both finished three shots off the lead at five under after two days and battled through the next five matches, with huge crowds lining the fairways as the European Tour returned to Belgium for the first time in 18 years.
Hebert edged ahead first in the final, but Otaegui hit the front on the sixth as a hat-trick of birdies guided him to three under and a second win in head-to-head competition.
Otaegui, who won last year’s Saltire Energy Paul Lawrie Match Play and is currently 14th in the Race to Dubai rankings, said: “I’m very happy, very relaxed now. The last nine holes against Ben that were very tight. We both played very good golf, and I’m just very proud about my week. I just tried to play against myself – focus on my game, stroke play, and everything worked out.”
He added: I’ve started pretty well this season. I’m just looking forward to focusing on the Rolex Series and some other big events coming up. There’s a long way to go, but the Ryder Cup is still a possibility.”