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DP World Tour: Soudal Open preview: Spanish duo make appeal in Belgium

The DP World Tour stops off in Antwerp, Belgium this week for the second edition of the Soudal Open at Rinkven International Golf Club.

A field packed full of familiar faces on the DP circuit will be battling it out for glory in Northwestern Europe and there looks to be an open feel about the event with Alexander Bjork leading the betting ahead of Thursday's opening round at 16/1.  

England's Sam Horsfield triumphed by two strokes last year, holding off Ryan Fox and Yannik Paul, but there will be no title defence following the reigning champion's switch to LIV Golf.

WhatSoudal Open
WhereRinkven International Golf Club, Antwerp
When05:00, Thursday 11th May
How to watchbet365 Live Golf Tracker & Sky Sports Golf (coverage starts 12:00)
 
OddsAlexander Bjork 16/1, Thomas Detry 18/1, Adrian Otaegui 18/1, Yannik Paul 18/1, Jorge Campillo 20/1, Thorbjorn Olesen 20/1

Will the market prove right again? 

Poland's Adrian Meronk was one of the market leaders for last week's Italian Open at Marco Simone Golf Club - host of this year's Ryder Cup - and he duly delivered a third DP World Tour title when holding off Romain Langasque by one stroke. 

Sweden's Bjork has been installed at the head of the betting for the Soudal Open and he arrives in solid form after ending up fourth in Italy - his second top-five in 2023 following his T2 at the Ras Al Khaimah Championship. 

While the 32-year-old looks in fine fettle, he hasn't won since breaking his duck at the 2018 China Open and there are others that make more appeal at the top of the market and also further down.

Rinkven International Golf Club

At 6,924 yards, this tree-lined, parkland layout is not a beast by any stretch of the imagination and this tends to be a course that benefits a short, accurate hitter over a powerful player that can often get into trouble off the tee. 

With 13 par-fours, three par-threes and two par-fives, this par-71 hosted the Belgian Knockout in 2018 and 2019 before returning to stage the inaugural Soudal Open in 2022. 

Spaniard Otaegui claimed the spoils in 2018 Knockout, Guido Migliozzi triumphed in 2019 before Horsfield then ran out victorious last year when the event returned to a traditional 72-hole stroke play tournament. 

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Soudal Open three to follow

Jorge Campillo 

One of the best contenders at the top of the market looks to be Jorge Campillo, who is 20/1 To Win Outright and land his second trophy in the space of the last two months.  

The Spaniard finished tied-fourth at the Hero Indian Open before then grabbing his third DP World Tour title at the Magical Kenya Open in March, holding off Japanese Masahiro Kawamura by two strokes. 

Since that success the 36-year-old has gone T9 at the ISPS Handa in Japan, T3 at the Korea Championship and eighth at the Italian Open, highlighting his fantastic form over the past few months. 

Campillo has looked strong with both the irons and the putter - two areas key to success around here - and the fact he was fifth in 2018 and 15th last year suggests he has a liking for this course.

Alejandro Canizares 

Another Spaniard to keep an eye out for this week is 125/1 shot Alejandro Canizares, who is currently on a nine-year drought since his last victory but could very well return to the winners' enclosure come Sunday evening.  

The 40-year-old is 10th in strokes gained: approach-the-green and third in SG: putting this season, so he fits the requirements for this venue well, and he arrives here on the back of two straight top-25 finishes. 

He did miss the cut here in 2019 in the changed format for the Knockout, but he returned with an improved 44th-place finish last year when the tournament reverted to a normal stroke play event and Canizares looks capable of making significant progress this time around.

Thomas Aiken 

When looking for a fairway finder there are only four players that rank higher in driving accuracy this season than Thomas Aiken, who boasts a 72.92 percentage. 

The South African is also fifth in strokes gained: approach, while he also ranks the same around the green, and if he can enjoy a better week with the putter then he could be a lively each-way shout at 225/1.

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