Anton Karlsson leads at Belgian Knockout after stunning 63
Ireland’s Gavin Moynihan has work to do to make it into the knockout stages
Gavin Moynihan of Ireland on the 9th tee during the first round of the Belgian Knockout at Rinkven International Golf Club. Photo: Warren Little/Getty Images
Sweden’s Anton Karlsson fired an eight-under-par 63 to claim the lead after the first round of the Belgian Knockout in Antwerp.
Karlsson carded an eagle, seven birdies and a single bogey at Rinkven International Golf Club to enjoy a two-shot lead over Chris Paisley, Dean Burmester and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano.
Karlsson is seeking a first European Tour title after graduating from the qualifying school for a second time last year, the world number 317 being part of a nine-way tie for second behind Justin Harding in Qatar in March.
Gavin Moynihan – the only Irish player in the field – opened with a round of 70 to sit at one under par and in a tie for 40th.
The top 32 from each side of the draw after 36 holes of traditional stroke play will advance to the knockout stages over the weekend.
Players will then go head-to-head over nine holes of stroke play, with the player with the lowest score advancing to the next round until there is just one left standing.
Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre, who has finished runner-up in each of his last two starts, is part of a six-way tie for fifth on five under par following an opening 66.
Belgium’s Thomas Detry gave the home fans plenty to cheer with an opening 67, although tournament host and his World Cup-winning partner Thomas Pieters was 143rd in the 144-man field after a 77.
“I’m very happy,” Detry said. “It wasn’t that easy out there, a bit breezy and cold this morning as well, but very happy with how I played out there. I got some good vibes, I played great here last year and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.
“It’s quite fun to see all the little kids who haven’t had a chance to watch us play at tournaments and to see them out here it’s quite fun, and good for the game of golf in Belgium.
“I remember how I was looking up at Nico (Nicolas Colsaerts) when I was little, you know Nico was a bit of a god for me and now he has become a friend, so I know exactly what they are feeling. Those kids are probably pretty excited and seeing stars in their eyes, so it’s quite fun.”
Collated first round scores in the European Tour Belgian Knockout, Rinkven International GC, Antwerp, Belgium (British and Irish unless stated, par 71)
63 Anton Karlsson (Swe)
65 Dean Burmester (Rsa), Chris Paisley, Gonzalo Fernandez Castano (Spa)
66 Robert Macintyre, David Horsey, Espen Kofstad (Nor), JC Ritchie (Rsa), Lorenzo Gagli (Ita), Justin Walters (Rsa)
67 Adrian Otaegui (Spa), Adrien Saddier (Fra) Sihwan Kim (USA), Jeff Winther (Den), Oliver Wilson, Thomas Detry (Bel)
68 Darren Fichrdt (Rsa), Ricardo Gouveia (Por), Oliver Fisher, Kevin Hesbois (Bel), Kristian Krogh Johannessen (Nor), Ashley Chesters,
69 Kristoffer Reitan (Nor), David Drysdale, John Catlin (USA), Gavin Green (Mal), Hugo Leon (Chi), Adam Bland (Aus), Stanislav Matus (Cze), Deyen Lawson (Aus), Jake Mcleod (Aus), Darius Van Driel (Ned), Jens Dantorp (Swe), Gregory Havret (Fra), Antoine Rozner (Fra), Rikard Karlberg (Swe),
70 Benjamin Hebert (Fra), Alexander Levy (Fra) Nacho Elvira (Spa), Dean Huizing (Ned), Matthew Southgate, Asaf Cohen (Isr), Jose-Filipe Lima (Por), Nick Cullen (Aus), Renato Paratore (Ita), Sam Horsfield, Ben Evans, Soren Kjeldsen (Den), Louis De Jager (Rsa), Ewen Ferguson, Guido Migliozzi (Ita), Stuart Manley, Bernd Ritthammer (Ger), Wade Ormsby (Aus), Richie Ramsay, Gavin Moynihan,
71 Marcus Kinhult (Swe), Oscar Lengden (Swe), Edoardo Molinari (Ita), David Law, Pablo Larrazabal (Spa), Max Schmitt (Ger), Lasse Jensen (Den), Anders Hansen (Den), (Jacques Kruyswijk (Rsa), Jamie Donaldson, Oliver Farr, Christofer Blomstrand (Swe), Jinho Choi (Kor), Marcel Siem (Ger), Richard Mcevoy, Joachim B Hansen (Den), Bradley Dredge, Jack Singh Brar, Joel Girrbach (Swi), Daniel Gavins, Brett Rumford (Aus), Lee Slattery, Haydn Porteous (Rsa), Raphael Jacquelin (Fra), George Coetzee (Rsa), Pedro Oriol (Spa), Rowin Caron (Ned), Michael Hoey, Grant Forrest
72 Matthias Schwab (Aut), Marcel Schneider (Ger), Andrea Pavan (Ita), Jeunghun Wang (Kor), Alejandro Canizares (Spa), Austin Connelly (Can), Victor Perez (Fra), Filippo Bergamaschi (Ita), Pedro Figueredo (Por), Niklas Lemke (Swe), James Morrison, Romain Wattel (Fra), Liam Johnston, Tom Lewis, Ivan Cantero Gutierrez (Spa), Joakim Lagergren (Swe)
73 Ben Stow, Romain Langasque (Fra), Jonathan Thomson, Tom Murray, Dimitrios Papadatos (Aus), Steven Brown, Hughes Joannes (Bel), S.S.P Chawrasia (Ind), Tapio Pulkkanen (Fin), Maximilian Kieffer (Ger), Marc Warren, Adri Arnaus (Spa), Kim Koivu (Fin), Matthew Nixon
74 Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel), Phachara Khongwatmai (Tha), Gaganjeet Bhullar (Ind), Fredrik Nilehn (Swe), Yente Van Doren (a) (Bel), Marco Iten (Swi), Nino Bertasio (Ita), Henric Sturehed (Swe), Matthis Besard (a) (Bel), Max Orrin, David Borda (Spa), Ross McGowan, Robert Rock
75 Yusaku Miyazato (Jpn), Marcus Fraser (Aus), Jack Senior, Laurie Canter, Christopher Mivis (Bel), Petr Gal (Cze), Matthieu Pavon (Fra)
76 Alan Ger Bondt (Bel), Callum Shinkwin, Scott Gregory, Bernd Wiesberger (Aut), Per Langfors (Swe), Jean Ger Wouters (Bel)
77 Thomas Pieters (Bel)
78 Masahiro Kawamura (Jpn)