While what has been known as the Belgian Open has had stops and starts over the years, there’s a chance that this year’s tournament can be won by a native son for the first time since 1956. That’s when Flory Van Donck won his record fifth Belgian Open. Known as the Soudal Open for the second year in a row, Thomas Detry is favored to win Belgium’s national tournament.
After a two-year break due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event returned to the schedule last year. Englishman Sam Horsfield was the winner, but he won’t be defending his title since he plays on the LIV Golf tour now.
As it did last year, the tournament takes place at Rinkven International, which is relatively short at 6,924 yards and is a par-71 course. Thirteen of the 18 holes are par 4 with three par-3s and just two par-5s. Rinkven International is set in the woods, and the fairways are tight and tree-lined, so accuracy is the biggest challenge for golfers this week. Horsfield shot a 13-under 271 to win here last year by two strokes over Ryan Fox and Yannik Paul.
Is making his first DP World Tour event in 2023 and is still looking for his first victory. He missed the cut here last year, so perhaps some of the jitters are out of his system. He’s tested himself this year by playing on the PGA Tour, where he’s logged three top-10 finishes this year, including a runner-up at the Butterfield Bermuda Championship in October.
Finished fourth at Marco Simone in Rome last week on this fall’s Ryder Cup course. Jorge Campillo (+1800) has continued his impressive run as of late—his eighth-place finish last week was his fifth-straight top 10, and he has a win (Kenya Open) in that stretch as well. Campillo was 15th here last year.
From nearby Germany, tied for runner-up here a year ago. Among his last five results are two runner-up finishes, a sixth, and a 23rd in Italy last week that could’ve been better if it wasn’t for a final-round 75.
The style of course suits Adrian Otaegui’s game very well. He won here in 2018 and also picked up a victory at Valderrama in Spain, which is a similarly tight track. The Spaniard was second going into the weekend at the Italian Open but faltered a bit in the final two rounds and wound up 40th.
Ewen Ferguson is worth a look at +3000. He finished third on this course in 2019, and while he hasn’t played a DP World Tour event since March, his last two finishes were a fourth and a third.
Detry hasn’t played on this tour all year and didn’t fare well here in 2022, so we’re hesitant to back him. We’re going to go with Bjork, Campillo, Otaegui, and Ferguson, who are in better form and have a better history here to draw from.
|GOLFERS||ODDS TO WIN 2023 SOUDAL OPEN|
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