The 2019 BKO
What a week?
It was just a real pleasure to be there and attend. There were so many things happening that one could just not get his head around to witness all the happenings. (check our FB page for more pictures)
The organisation was spot on!
Allowing the public to enjoy great golf daily and to follow our main tour national stars such as Nicolas Coslaerts, Thomas Detry and event host Thomas Pieters was a treat!
The mixing of an amateur event the same day in the same public stage was a great and successful idea. Bringing in our Handigolf star Adem Wahbi for a demonstration match against Brandon Lawlor was just another sightseeing event.
We congratulate Pieters Production for the organisation and the new ideas they have brought to the European Tour. The mixture of these three attractive events was just innovative, daring and a great window to our originality and a demonstration of what Belgium can bring to the sport.
We also have to give credit to our national organisations and give a thumbs up to the Golf Vlaanderen President Luc Feremans who made a memorable and hugely entertaining acknowledgment of the involvement of all the volunteers that were so important for the excellent running of all the activities on the Saturday evening. For those who stayed late the Saturday evening this was just a great moment and just a spark for the Sunday evening party feeling that was the culmination of just a great and fun event.
Thank you to the PGA pros
The Belgium PGA pros were out in numbers to witness great golf and added to the success of the event.
There were many pros around, walking the course in the company of youngsters from their home clubs, instructing them about all the element of play to look at. Some kids were taking notes answering questions of observation handed out by their coaches. It was also nice to see all the young regional team members well surrounded by their coaches. So thanks to all of you who committed a day or more of your working week to come along and make your presence felt thru your photos and social media posts.
We would like to point out 2 of these pros that were actually on duty during the event as Frank Dhondt and Thibault Werbrouck were caddying for their respective students, Kevin Hesbois and Matthis Besard.
Kevin HESBOIS, best Belgian stroke play score, caddied by Frank Dhondt
Frank has been teaching Kevin for the last 6 years and was an important factor on the success of Kevin, who finished the first two days as the best Belgian finishing at 5 under PAR and in 23rd place. Making his last birdie at the 7th (his 16th) by holing a 9 meter putt. His pleasure was a witness of his involvement and thoroughness thru out the event.
This leading Belgian pros result was noisily acknowledge by the volunteers who, in their personal tent, cheered at his reception. Testimony of the total commitment of these volunteers, who, dressed in red, covered all the details of the running of the events in perfect style. Congratulation to them and their operating team.
Kevin lost his first match Saturday morning, playing level par to South African JC Ritchies’s 2 under. It was nevertheless a great showing by Kevin and we hope that he will take confidence from his performances and play at the same level on the Alps tour where he is actually lying 72nd at the general ranking
Great success of the volunteers
Nice to know that one of the hidden heroes of the event was Ben Ooms who will be taking over the running of our PGA of Belgium Professional basic course on management. During this event, he has demonstrated the values of good and sound operating management and his knowledge will be an asset to our future PGA professionals’ course. Thank you Ben, you led these helpers in a fantastic way.
The volunteer’s tent was a major success and all our Belgium players daily went to this tent to get greeted in a fantastic spirit, testament off the general feeling and passion of the Rinkven golf club and its members. The European Tour could not avoid noticing the spirit that was the feature of this tent and their little video report gave the world an inside view of the great Belgium spirit, one of fun, taking full advantage of every life moment.
How did our Belgians play?
As for the performances of our Belgian heroes, we should be proud.
As said earlier Kevin was the best Belgian in the qualifying rounds, and only Thomas Detry made the week-end alongside him as Thomas PIeters and Nicolas Colaerts both found it difficult to take advantage of their huge power in this tricky and tight golf course that penalises all errant shots heavily.
For a long time T.Detry was leading the Belgian contingent at 6 under after 27 holes, making two birdies on his second day at the 4th and 5th hole. He was followed by a big crowd and if not for an abysmal 3 holes run from the 11th to the 13th where he lost 4 shots, he could have ended much higher in the final ranking of the two qualifying rounds.
Apparently easy, the 11th and 12th can harm you if you do miss your shot. But he did pick up another birdie at the 7th to end at the 35th place and more importantly with everything to play for in the knockouts of the week-end. These two holes 11th and 12th were real birdie holes and it is just unfortunate that he lost his focus. But the most important was done. He was thru to the Knockouts.
His Saturday performance was strong, winning his 2 first matches while playing 1 under against Frenchman Adrien Saddier’s +1, and 3 under to win by one over New Zeelander Wade Ormsby. He agonisingly lost his third match against super powerful Malaysian Gavin Green when his birdie attempt at the 8th just hung at the side of the hole while Green took full advantage of putting second on the same putting line to hole his and go to the last hole one stroke ahead. Thomas’s 2 under was just one shot short. In effect he finishes T13.
Thomas Pieters was also a main attraction, gathering huge crowds around him, and if the first day was just one to forget, he proved that he could bounce back by producing a tantalizing second round of 65 and the second best score of the tournament, having only been bettered by Austrian Bernd Wiesberger’s 64. His level PAR score just narrowly missed the cut by one sole shot.
He was an incredible sight the second day and his last birdie at the 18th was just a testament to his commitment to the sport and a proof of his willingness to be part of the week-end Knock-out.
As golfers, we understand the complexity of holding on to your concentration when constantly aware of all the happenings of running an event and also at all times having to make yourself available for all request be it the press, the fans, the tournament officials and friends. His second round was a statement and his qualification for the US Open the week after was a just reward to his huge talent.
The next two best Belgians were amateurs Matthis Besards (+2, 102nd) and Yente Van Doren (+3,112th) ). They were great! Both playing their second rounds at PAR or better. Matthis Besard’s 1 under 70 was entertaining and at one time he was at 3 under for his round and level PAR total and within the cut. He suffered two late bogeys at the 6th (his 15th) and 9th that took away all his chances of playing on the week-end. He was a real treat to watch. Staying focused and clear minded throughout his round. He was testimony off what our PGA pros can bring to our national youngsters and Thibault should be very proud of his pupil. He had everything that a great player needs to be successful on Tour. This young lad is one to watch.
On the other hand, Yente’s second round was just blistering. Making 7 birdies at the 12th, 17th, 18th, 1st, 3rd, 5th and 8th. His lost shots were just too costly making 5 bogeys and one Double! His birdie making ability is a real asset that should allow him to shine in the future.
There were more Belgian players on display and none of them dishonoured the game and all benefited from this great show of golf and being involved in a top level event. C.Mivis ended at +4 (112th) while making 7 birdies in total, but suffered 2 doubles that alone cost him the cut. H.Joannes was also part of the field and finished 112th but never could take advantage of his game and collapsed in his 3 last holes taking bogeys at al three of them.
Young amateur J. De Wouters ended at the 136th place at +8, but played 24 PARs, for only 4 birdies, 2 doubles and a triple. The 13th costing him 5 shot on it’s own!
N.Colsaerts, unfortunately didn’t get his game going making only 3 birdies for 27 PAR and losing 8 shots on 6 holes.
And for the winners
At the end the winner was young Italian Guido Migliozzi who beat Dutchman Darius Van Driel.
Irishman Lawlor beat Adem and in the amateur event the victory came down to Thibault Goemans of Rigenée.
The real winner was golf and this can only, once more, be accredited to the Pieters family and the huge commitment of all the volunteers.
Great course, great players, great spirit of the volunteers, great innovations, great show!
See you next year where we promise that the PGA of Belgium will be actively promoting the game we love so much.