An English trio at the helm in Antwerp. Jacquelin and Roussel in the top 15

All three authors of a very solid 65 (-6), the English Dale Whitnell, Sam Horsfield and Callum Shinkwin take the lead in the Soudal Open at the Rinkven International Golf Club in Antwerp. Of the thirteen French players engaged this week on Flemish soil, Raphaël Jacquelin and Robin Roussel (photo) made the best start: 68 (-3). The duo is 14th!

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Will English golf finally unlock its victory counter in 2022 on the DP World Tour ? No golfer of his gracious Majesty has indeed won since Matthew Fitzpatrick on October 17 at theAndalusia Masters. An anomaly as the English very regularly dominate the debates on the European Tour.

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They were seven to win a tournament during the previous year, including some very big fish like Tyrrell Hatton, Paul Casey, Danny Willett or Richard Blandto British Masterson his 478th attempt.

At the end of this first round of Soudal Openthe first meeting in Outre-Quiévrain since Belgian Knockout 2019 and the victory of the Italian Guido Migliozzithree Englishmen are precisely at the controls. Dale Whitnell, Sam Horsfield and Callum Shinkwin signed an excellent 65 (-6), without the slightest error for Horsfield.

Poland’s Meronk once again confirms…

Whitnell, 421st player in the world, could even have afforded the lead alone at -9 but after an impressive series of nine birdies in sixteen holes (including five on the first six), he suddenly got stuck with a double-bogey on the 17th. followed by a bogey at 18. Of the trio, he is also the only one who has still not tasted victory on a late Sunday afternoon…

This set so British nevertheless only has a small point ahead of six pursuers among which we find the Pole Adrian Meronkdefinitely in good shape, 14th in the European ranking, or even the Spanish veteran Alvaro Quiros39, seven successes on the Tour between 2006 and 2017.

Ukrainian amateur Lev Grinberg, 14, with Victor Dubuisson

On the tricolor side, like last week at Belfryit is Raphael Jacquelin who stands out by still slamming a very nice card. In Birmingham, the Lyonnais, who celebrated his 48th birthday on May 8, had posted an inaugural 69 (-3). There he starts with a 68 (-3). Here he is 14th with Robin Rousselwhich had passed for the second time only in 2022 the cut a few days ago in England.

So in the top 5 at -5, Victor Perez, starting from 10th, unfortunately cracked on his last three obstacles, taking three bogeys. The Tarbais is however 26th at -2 with the Belgian Thomas Pieters36th player in the world (with Bernd Wiesberger and Oliver Becker, they are only three in the top 100 to be present in Antwerp). Back to competition since his missed cut at the end of January in Dubai Desert Classic, Victor Dubuisson (4th to Abu Dhabi), is satisfied with a 70 (-1) and a 45th place with in particular Joel Stalter

Also note the very beautiful day of the Ukrainian Lev Grinberg, 14 (!), author of a 70 despite a final bogey on the par 4 green of 18. A year ago, he managed to climb to the finals of the US Open qualifications. A seed of champion, no doubt…

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Photo: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

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