Gavin Green among 7 sharing lead after Round 1 of Belgian Knockout

BEIJING, CHINA - APRIL 29: Gavin Green of Malaysia plays a shot during the final round of the 2018 Volvo China Open at Topwin Golf and Country Club on April 29, 2018 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Zhe Ji/Getty Images) Zhe Ji/Getty Images

Gavin Green among 7 sharing lead after Round 1 of Belgian Knockout

Euro Tour

Gavin Green among 7 sharing lead after Round 1 of Belgian Knockout

 

New Mexico alum Gavin Green seems to be making a seamless move onto the European Tour. He’s certainly looking comfortable in this week’s $1.2 million Belgian Knockout.

Green, a Malaysian, is one of seven players tied for the lead on 4 under after an opening 67 at Rinkven International Golf Club in Antwerp. Green, who won eight times at New Mexico, was nearly flawless in his opening round. He had no bogeys on his card, playing the front nine in 1 under, and the back nine three strokes better. 

This is the 11th start for Green, 25, in his rookie European Tour season. He’s only missed two cuts in that stretch. He has two top 20 finishes –  T19 in the Joburg Open and T16 in the Hero Indian Open. He stands 82nd on the European Tour money list with just under $165,000 in earnings 

An all-American at New Mexico, Green became the first Malaysian to top the Asian order of merit after a brilliant 2017 campaign that saw him win the Mercuries Taiwan Masters.

All eyes are on Thomas Pieters this week, since the 2016 Ryder Cup star is hosting the tournament. However, younger compatriot Thomas Detry outplayed Pieters in the opening round. The former Illinois player shares the lead after matching Green’s 67.

Nicolas Colsaerts, who became the first Belgian Ryder Cup player when he appeared in the 2012 match, is a shot off the lead after 68. Pieters slumped to a 2-over-par 73 and is in danger of missing the cut.

Englishmen Matthew Baldwin and Ryan Evans, Spain’s Jorge Campillo, Jeff Winther of Denmark and Chilean Nico Geyger are also on 4-under.

The tournament consists of 36 holes of stroke play, after which the top 64 players enter head-to-head knockout stroke play matches over nine holes on the weekend to see who picks up the $197,000 first place check.

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