Cape Town – Thomas Detry gave the home crowds at the Belgian Knockout plenty to shout about as the promising local star birdied the final three holes to take a share of the first round lead at Rinkven International Golf Club.
The picturesque Antwerp venue, with its old-style design, proved an intriguing challenge for the stars of the European Tour on its Race to Dubai debut and seven people shared the lead heading into day two – the largest number of first round leaders in five years.
Detry, playing in front of home crowds for the first time on the European Tour, certainly boosted his chances of being among the 64 players to make the weekend knockout matches after the 25-year-old from nearby Brussels finished with a flourish for a 67.
“What can I say, my first round here in Belgium in front of home crowds, shooting four-under and finishing with three birdies like that, it doesn’t get any better. The course was perfect, the greens were firm and fast, which was good. It got a little windy out there, as well, so we have to be careful on a few holes. I played some very good golf and I’m excited for the rest of the week,” said Detry.
“Pieters was playing behind me, so a lot of people were following him, but it’s just awesome to see some familiar faces, friends from home, everybody out here supporting. It’s just great for golf in Belgium and great for me.”
Also among the players tied at the top is in-form Spaniard Jorge Campillo – who has more top five finishes than any other player this season (four) but is yet to win on the European Tour – while another home favourite, Nicolas Colsaerts, is a shot off the pace after a three under opening 68.
Tournament host Thomas Pieters, meanwhile, opened with a disappointing 73.
First round scores:
67 T Detry (Bel) , G Green (Mas) , M Baldwin (Eng) , J Campillo (Esp) , N Geyger (Chi) , R Evans (Eng) , J Winther (Den) ,
68 J Heath (Eng) , N Colsaerts (Bel) , S Vincent (Zim) , B Hebert (Fra) , N Cullen (Aus) , S Horsfield (Eng) ,
69 L Herbert (Aus) , A Otaegui (Esp) , T Linard (Fra) , J Geary (Nzl) , E Van Rooyen (RSA) , V Perez (Fra) , J Janewattananond (Tha) , D Papadatos (Aus) , L Gagli (Ita) , D Drysdale (Sco) ,
70 J Walters (RSA) , O Fisher (Eng) , A Bland (Aus) , R Langasque (Fra) , R Sciot-Siegrist (Fra) , M Fraser (Aus) , D Huizing (Ned) , M Schwab (Aut) , J Smith (Eng) , J Fahrbring (Swe) , P Angles (Esp) , A Rai (Eng) , J Morrison (Eng) , M Lorenzo-Vera (Fra) , S Kjeldsen (Den) ,
71 A Cohen (Isr) , P Oriol (Esp) , O Farr (Wal) , C Shinkwin (Eng) , A Connelly (Can) , C Bezuidenhout (RSA) , S Gallacher (Sco) , R Karlsson (Swe) , A Chesters (Eng) , H Porteous (RSA) , N Kimsey (Eng) , D Stewart (Sco) , D Lipsky (USA) , M Warren (Sco) , R McEvoy (Eng) , C Ford (Eng) , R Cho (Kor) , C Mivis (Bel) , M Siem (Ger) ,
72 P Khongwatmai (Tha) , A Knappe (Ger) , B Rumford (Aus) , S Fernandez (Esp) , R McGowan (Eng) , R Fox (Nzl) , J Hansen (Den) , M Kieffer (Ger) , M Tullo (Chi) , K Hesbois (Bel) , M Decottignies-Lafon (Fra) , E Goya (Arg) , M Schneider (Ger) , A Hansen (Den) , L Jensen (Den) , A Pavan (Ita) , F Aguilar (Chi) , S Heisele (Ger) , A Wu (Chn) , G Havret (Fra) , R Ramsay (Sco) , J Kruyswijk (RSA) , C Wood (Eng) , B Evans (Eng) , B Ritthammer (Ger) , C Sordet (Fra) ,
73 B Dredge (Wal) , J Donaldson (Wal) , B Hafthorsson (Isl) , C Koepka (USA) , A Saddier (Fra) , R Jacquelin (Fra) , J Munro (Aus) , T Lewis (Eng) , J Quesne (Fra) , L Canter (Eng) , S Brown (Eng) , C Blomstrand (Swe) , Ó Serna (Mex) , M Foster (Eng) , M Southgate (Eng) , T Pieters (Bel) , J Dantorp (Swe) , F Fritsch (Ger) ,
74 R Wattel (Fra) , T Murray (Eng) , T Fisher Jnr (RSA) , S Gros (Fra) , G Stal (Fra) , P Hanson (Swe) , J Choi (Kor) , J Luiten (Ned) ,
75 C Hanson (Eng) , F Laporta (Ita) , C Syme (Sco) , J Zunic (Aus) , J Stalter (Fra) , P Widegren (Swe) , M Nixon (Eng) , J Carlsson (Swe) , M Armitage (Eng) , R Bland (Eng) , A Dodt (Aus) , A De Bondt (am) (Bel) ,
76 J Arnoy (Nor) , S Lee (Kor) , K Koivu (Fin) , R Saxton (Ned) , J Thomson (Eng) , O Lindell (Fin) , M Pavon (Fra) , Z Lombard (RSA) , M Lafeber (Ned) , L Buijs (Bel) , R Gouveia (Por) , B Neil (Sco) , T Aiken (RSA) , B Stone (RSA) , A Dumont De Chassart (am) (Bel) ,
77 S Piaget (Mon) , D Brooks (Eng) , S Chawrasia (Ind) , H Joannes (Bel) , J De Wouters (am) (Bel) , 78 J Norris (Aus) ,
80 Y Van Doren (am) (Bel) ,
81 D Im (USA)