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Papadatos Leads Weekend Assault In Belgium

Dimi Papadatos is the best of the six Australasians to qualify for the matchplay section of the Belgian Knockout (Photo: Henry Peters )
The in-form Dimi Papdatos will lead a six strong Australasian assault on the matchplay portion of the Belgian Knockout after Jordan Zunic and New Zealand’s Ryan Fox failed to advance from an 11-for-8 play-off to determine the top 64.

Papadatos shot rounds of 69-67 over the opening 36 holes to finish in a share of third in the stroke-play section of the event where the top 64 have advanced to knockout matchplay.

He will be joined in the preliminary matches tomorrow by Nick Cullen and Marcus Fraser (T8), Josh Geary (T18), Lucas Herbert (T31) and Adam Bland (T39).

Zunic and Fox both finished at 1-over for the opening 36 and were part of an 11-way tie for 57thforcing a play-off to eliminate three players.

Both made early exits after making a mess of the par-4 10thhole, Zunic notching a triple bogey seven and Fox a double bogey six to drop out of the play-off.

Also missing the weekend are Andrew Dodt, Brett Rumford, Jack Munro and Jason Norris.

With the top 64 now determined the knockout phase begins with the field split inot two groups.

One half will play the front nine hole and the other will play the back nine in a series of matches to eliminate all but the final two.

The format is medal matchplay – meaning stroke scores are kept with the lowest nine hole total winning – and the field will be whittled down to 16 by the end of Saturday.

All six Australasians are on the back nine half of the field for Saturday with at least one guaranteed to advance after Nick Cullen drew Adam Bland for the opening match.

Dimi Papadatos will play England’s Tom Lewis in the first round while Marcus Fraser will take on Korea’s Jinho Choi.

Lucas Herbert is up against Wales’ Oliver Farr while New Zealand’s Josh Geary will meet Sweden’s Anders Hansen.

The unusual medal matchplay format will make for interesting golf over the closing two rounds with players having to weigh the more aggressive matchplay mindset with the need to conserve stokes.

While a double bogey means only the loss of a hole in traditional matchplay it still means two shots in this format and that makes it tricky for the players.

Papadatos will fancy his chances under the format after a victory last week on the Challenge Tour while Herbert played deep into the World Super 6 event in Perth in February.

COPY KOEPKA FROM THE LONG GRASS:

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