Home favourite Pieters off the pace at the Belgian Knockout

Thomas Detry is one of seven players tied for the lead as the European Tour returned to Belgium for the first time since 2000.

Thomas Detry in action during the Belgian Knockout   -  Warren Little/Getty Images

Thomas Detry and Nicolas Colsaerts may have enjoyed home comforts but tournament host Thomas Pieters struggled on the opening day of the inaugural Belgian Knockout.

Detry finished with three successive birdies in his round of 67 at the Rinkven International Golf Club, putting him in a seven-way tie for the lead at the innovative new tournament.

Englishmen Matthew Baldwin and Ryan Evans are also on four under, along with Spain's Jorge Campillo, Chilean Nico Geyger, Malaysian Gavin Green and Jeff Winther of Denmark.

"The course was perfect. Greens were firm and fast, which was good. It got a little windy out there as well so we'll have to be careful on a few holes," Detry told the European Tour website.

"I played some very good golf and I'm excited for the rest of the week."

The early pacesetters are on track to qualify for the nine-hole stroke play knockout rounds at the weekend, with the top 64 progressing to the next stage after 36 holes.

Colsaerts is comfortably sat on three under, his bogey-free score giving him an excellent start as the European Tour returned to Belgium for the first time since 2000.

However, compatriot Pieters - who at 60 is the top-ranked player in the field - has work to do after signing for a two-over score of 73, leaving him down in a share of 84th place.

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