Weekly Golf Preview | Byron Nelson Championship – Belgian Knockout

Another major week and another major event in America for the world’s top players to enjoy with the Byron Nelson Championship taking centre stage.

Another top-field tees it up in Texas, with local boy Jordan Spieth the undoubted the star turn in the lone star state. They will battle at the Trinity Forest Club, which host the event for the first time.

In Europe and the tour returns to Belgium for the first time since 2000 for the Belgian Knockout which will combine 36 holes of traditional stroke play with a weekend of nine-hole matches under a hybrid strokeplay matchplay format.

See below as we run through each competition for you including facts, odds and picks from our own golfing professional Cliff Jackson and Betfair.


  • Staged at Trinity Forest Golf Club, Texas
  • First staged in 1944
  • Current champion is Billy Horschel

FIELD: Trinity Forest enjoys hosting the Byron Nelson, and it has still attracted a major field with Jordan Spieth the headline act – but he is not the only big name with Matt Kuchar, Sergio Garcia, Jimmy Walker, Marc Leishman, Hideki Matsuyama and Adam Scott all battling for the title – which will be defended by Billy Horschel, who is looking to be the first player to win the event in successive years since Tom Watson in 1980.

QUOTES: Spieth admits that winning the Byron Nelson is something at the top of his wanted list. “This tournament is one that I would love to win some day. At this point that’s kind of what I’m focused on here. It’s been, you know, a tournament I’ve had some of the best memories I’ve ever had, whether going to or playing in.”

Matt Kuchar 12/1
Sergio Garcia 14/1
Jimmy Walker 18/1
Branden Grace 20/1
Marc Leishman 20/1
Billy Horschel 22/1
Hideki Matsuyama 22/1
Adam Scott 25/1
Beau Hossler 28/1
Martin Laird 33/1
Brandt Snedeker 35/1


  • Staged at Rinkven International, Schilde
  • First staged in 1910
  • Current champion is Lee Westwood (from 2000)

FIELD: Hosted by Thomas Pieters he is by far the biggest name on show along with fellow Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts. Adrian Otaegui, Joost Luiten and Jordan Smith are amongst the most fancied for victory.

QUOTES: Pieters is hosting the event and has chosen the new type of tournament and explained he got the idea from One Direction’s Niall Horan. “I played a lot of matchplay when I was young and I loved it, I still love it. 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.”

ODDS provided by Betfair:
Adrian Otaegui 20/1
Joost Luiten 20/1
Thomas Pieters 22/1
Jorge Campillo 24/1
Jordan Smith 25/1
Aaron Rai 28/1
Mike Lorenzo-Vera 28/1
Thomas Detry 28/1
Lucas Herbert 30/1
Andrea Pavan 33/1
Erik Van Rooyen 33/1
Nicolas Colsaerts 33/1

The pro’s point of view…

Our resident golf expert is Cliff Jackson. Cliff is a leading youth coach and PGA professional at the famed Seaton Carew Links – one of the oldest courses in the world.

An interesting weekend – the Byron Nelson looks a really good field to me, and on a new course I think we might see an outsider take the win on a maiden track, so I think someone like a Maverick McNealy could go well or even Kevin Na.

In Europe and it is a certainly a tough one to call given we haven’t seen this format before but I suspect Thomas Pieters – the host, will be looking to win his own tournament and he will be in the mix for sure.

The Bookie says…

We caught up with Betfair’s Joe Dyer to get their views on this week’s action

There’s something new on both sides of the Atlantic with the ‘American links’ of Trinity Forest making its PGA Tour debut and an entirely new strokeplay-matchplay hybrid tournament for the European crew.

Jordan Spieth was the player quoted above and as the current Open champion and as a member of Trinity Forest it’s no surprise that he’s the 9/2 favourite this week with seven places paid on the Betfair Sportsbook.

Matt Kuchar, at 12/1, separates Spieth from a pair of links specialists in 14/1 Sergio Garcia and Branden Grace. The South African is 20/1 this week, alongside the resurgent Jimmy Walker and Marc Leishman. You’ll get 22/1 if you want to back Billy Horschel or Hideki Matsuyama, 25/1 on Adam Scott and 28/1 on another course member, Beau Hossler.

The European Tour boys are playing knockout golf in Belgium this week at the imaginatively named Belgian Knockout. The tournament starts with two days of strokeplay before a cut which is then followed by nine hole knockout golf also played over a strokeplay format.

The course is expected to reward accuracy and that’s why 20/1 Adrian Otaegui tops the betting, event host Thomas Pieters is next up at 22/1 alongside Joost Luiten with Jorge Campillo a 25/1 shot. Backers of Jordan Smith, Mike Lorenzo-Vera and Thomas Detry can get on at 28/1.

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