Adrian Otaegui beats Benjamin Hebert to win Belgian Knockout

Otaegui finished two clear of Hebert in the nine-hole final at Rinkven International

Adrian Otaegui wins Belgian Knockout
Adrian Otaegui wins Belgian Knockout
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Adrian Otaegui of Spain defeated Benjamin Hebert of France in the final of the inaugural Belgian Knockout at Rinkven International GC in Antwerp. Scotsman David Drysdale beat James Heath of England to third place.

Adrian Otaegui beats Benjamin Hebert to win Belgian Knockout

Adrian Otaegui finished two shots clear of Benjamin Hebert in the nine-hole final of the Belgian Knockout at Rinkven International GC. The Spaniard carded a three-under-par 32 to claim his second European Tour victory.

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Otaegui proved his match playing credentials as he followed his success in last year’s Saltire Energy Paul Lawrie Match Play with another knockout tournament victory.

After beating David Drysdale in the semi-final, on-form Otaegui went behind to Hebert early in the final when the Frenchman made a birdie on the 2nd.

Otaegui took advantage of a good break on the 4th when his tee shot narrowly avoided the water. He played a great approach and knocked in the putt to move level with Hebert.

Benjamin Hebert was runner-up

Benjamin Hebert was runner-up

The Spaniard then reeled off three straight birdied from the 6th to move two ahead with one to play. Pars on the last from both men meant that the inaugural Belgian Knockout title went to Otaegui. It was a sixth straight top-20 finish on the European Tour for the Spanish player and it has moved him to 14th on the Race to Dubai standings.

"I'm very happy, very relaxed now after the last nine holes against Ben that were very tight," he said. "I think we both played very good golf and I'm just very proud about my week. I just tried to play against myself. Obviously your opponent is just next to you but I just tried to focus on my game, stroke play, and so that's what I tried to do. I've started pretty well for the moment. I'm just looking forward to focus on the Rolex Series next, some big events coming up and I just want to focus on that and there's still a lot of season ahead. The season is still very long but I'm looking for Ryder Cup."

In the playoff for third and fourth places, David Drysdale finished one ahead of James Heath. The Englishman had taken the early lead but Drysdale fought back and took the advantage himself with a birdie on the 7th. Both men parred in and Drysdale won by a stroke.

For both British players, this was an important week as both had been enduring poor seasons to this point. For Heath, this was his biggest ever cheque on the European Tour and the result has secured his place in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth next week.

James Heath finished in fourth place

James Heath finished in fourth place

“It’s a nice result to make it to Wentworth,” Heath said. “I come from Surrey and I’ve been around that tournament for 20 years but have never had the chance to play, so it will be great.”

Belgian Knockout Rinkven International, Antwerp, Belgium May 17-20 Purse: €1,000,000

1 Adrian Otaegui (Esp) €166,660 2 Benjamin Hebert (Fra) €100,000 3 David Drysdale (Sco) €62,600 4 James Heath (Eng) €50,000 5 Jorge Campillo (Esp) €42,400 6 Victor Perez (Fra) €35,000 7 Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel) €30,000 8 Mike Lorenzo-Vera (Fra) €25,000 9 Matthew Baldwin (Eng) €22,400 T10 Oliver Fisher (Eng) €19,200 T10 Josh Geary (NZL) €19,200

Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin (also of Golf Monthly)... Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?