Thomas Pieters produced a phenomenal finish on the back nine during the final round of the Made in Denmark Open to clinch his third European Tour Victory and make a very strong claim to receive a phone call off Ryder Cup Captain Darren Clarke.
The Belgian played flawless golf all week and shot a final round 65 to fend off Welshman Bradley Dredge by a shot at Himmerland and secure his third European Tour title in 12 months.
Knowing that his round on Sunday was his last real chance to impress Darren Clarke he took centre stage and impressed everyone with his composure under pressure – managing to put a four-hour-and-fifteen-minute rain delay behind him and finish with three successive birdies and win on a total of 17under par, one shot ahead of the field.
Coming into this week this world number 54 was the man on form a top-five finish and a runner-up finish in his last two starts, with this in mind Pieters Peters had one task which was to play golf over the weekend that would his name at the front of Darren Clarke’s mind.
Pieters played some very stylish golf on the home stretch and really made his move on the 16th hole. A near hole-in-one gave Pieters a tap-in birdie to get to 15-under and then the Belgian went on to throw darts with his approach shots on the 17th and 18th holes to take him to a 17-under total.
A masterclass in closing out a golf tournament from @Thomas_Pieters.
“I really needed a good finish.””It’s all about winning tournaments. I’m really happy with this one. That was one of my goals, to just have one every year, just so you know you’re improving and you can win.””I’m very, very happy.
The Chasing Pack
Amongst the stories that will come out in light of another successful Made in Denmark tournament is the story of Joakim Lagergren.
The young swede played inspiring golf all week round to finish in the top-five, after being tied for the lead for the majority of the final-round and tournament. He finished at 13-under, two shots ahead of Martin Kaymer in tied 6th – another player awaiting a phone call from Captain Clarke.
After making a tremendous birdie on the 17th, Lagergren fell to pieces on the 18th hole undoing all of his hard work. A birdie would have seen the swede tie things up with Pieters and go to a playoff, but instead he fired his tee shot way right and after five minutes of searching declared it lost. He played a provisional which led to a messy triple-bogey on the final hole dropping him three shots.
A hole to forget for Lagergren. But what a future this man has install.
54-hole leader Bradley Dredge is familiar with finding form in Denmark and once again was runner-up – after missing out on Danish glory in 2014 when he was defeated by Scot Marc Warren – but he saved the best till last and holed a monster putt, well over 30ft, on the 18th to take solo 2nd.
One man that was cheered all the way round the course over the full four days was the home hero, Soren Kjeldsen, who supplied magic in his own way after shooting a final round 66 and finishing on 10-under-par just behind Martin Kaymer and South African Jaco Van Zyl.
Darren Clarke must make his final decision on who his 2016 Ryder Cup Captain’s picks will be on Tuesday. This decision has just been made 100 times harder by the stellar performances of Pieters in recent weeks.
Can Clarke really deny a man who is in the form of his life?