Winner: Guido Migliozzi
It was Darius van Driel’s 30th birthday on the final day of the Belgian
Knockout, but a maiden victory for a player whose initial plans to turn
professional at 18 were delayed by a broken hand after falling off a banana
boat proved just out of reach. Dutchman van Driel made it through 36 holes
of stroke play qualifying and five rounds of nine-hole medal match play to
reach the final at Rinkven International. However, he was unable to halt the
progress of Guido Migliozzi as the 22-year-old Italian claimed his second
victory of his rookie season.
In only his 20th appearance on the European Tour, Migliozzi finished
fifth in his half of the draw after two days — 32 players qualified for the
knockout rounds from each half of the starting field — and in the second
round on Saturday defeated defending champion Adrian Otaegui. In the
quarter-finals on Sunday morning he beat Made in Denmark winner Bernd
Wiesberger before dismissing Scot Ewen Ferguson 32-35 in the semi-finals.
Migliozzi put his stamp on the final with a huge drive at the first hole
and birdieing from 10 feet to go ahead. A bogey at the third was followed
with three birdies in four holes from the fifth. Van Driel bogeyed the fifth
and sixth holes and the Italian romped home by four strokes, with a three-
under 32 to a one-over 36.
“I’m feeling very good,” Migliozzi said. “I managed very well this afternoon,
all the shots. I’m playing solid and I will try to continue this quality in the
future.” In the third-fourth playoff, Ferguson beat Gregory Havret also by