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2023 Soudal Open Preview, Picks & Analysis

By: | Tue 09 May 2023

IT IS a sign of the times in which we now find ourselves that Belgium’s top golfer will not be in the field for this week’s Soudal Open at Rinkven International Golf Club in Schilde. That man is, of course, Thomas Pieters, who would have started the tournament as one of the favourites but will instead be Oklahoma playing in the latest LIV Golf event.

Last year the tournament was won by Sam Horsfield. The promising young English golfer was one of those who would later sign on the dotted line for LIV.

In the absence of Pieters, home hopes lie with Nicolas Colsaerts and the gifted Thomas Detry, who is currently plying his trade on the PGA Tour and is to be commended for crossing the Atlantic to compete on home soil. Detry has performed admirably in America, with a string of decent finishes this season but, incredibly, he is still searching for his first win in the paid ranks.

He has come close many times and would love nothing more than to break his duck this week.

Thomas Detry

(Image Credit: Kevin Diss Photography)

Twelve months ago Horsfield fought back the tears as he won a thrilling final-round battle with player of the season Ryan Fox.

The Englishman found himself three shots behind overnight leader Fox after eight holes but showed his mettle on the back nine, clinching a two-shot victory with a winning score of 13 under par courtesy of a closing 68.

Horsfield’s third victory, following his wins at the Hero Open and Celtic Classic in 2020, came just two weeks into his return from a three-month injury lay-off.

And the 26-year-old, who had his partner on the bag, was emotional as he completed a fourth round which contained four birdies and a single bogey.

Fox finished in a tie for second on 11 under par alongside Germany's Yannik Paul, with Chase Hanna and Oliver Bekker another shot further back.

Tournament Winners

The inaugural event was won last year by Sam Horsfield.

The Course

Rinkven Golf Club is a par 71 that measures just 6,700 yards. It was designed by Paul Rolin and opened in 1981. A tree-lined layout, it features plenty of bunkers and water comes into play on several holes.

To Win:

Thomas Detry. Brilliant ball striker

Five to Follow:

Thomas Detry. Looking for that elusive win

Eddie Pepperell. Showing some positive signs again

Nicolas Colsaerts. Sentimental favourite

Lev Grinberg. Knows the course inside out

David Law. Hugely underrated

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Tags: european tour dp world tour

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