Thomas Pieters carded a gutsy 68 to win his fifth European Tour title at the 2021 Portugal Masters after a dramatic afternoon at Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course. The big hitting Belgian entered the day in a share of the lead with Frenchman Matthieu Pavon and the duo played out an enthralling battle right to the last in Vilamoura. Pavon was in cruise control over the first 11 holes but found water three times on the way home in a 70 and Pieters took advantage. The 29-year-old finished at 19 under, two shots clear of Pavon and Danish pair Lucas Bjerregaard and Nicolai Højgaard, who finished with rounds of 66 and 64 respectively. Højgaard shared the lead in the closing stages as he carded the lowest round of the day but bogeyed the last, while 2017 champion Bjerregaard birdied the 18th to ensure he moves into the top 100 on the Race to Dubai Rankings in Partnership with Rolex and secures his card for 2022. Pieters had no concerns over his playing privileges but made certain he will play at the season ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai for the seventh consecutive season. He had been a picture of consistency coming into this week, with 12 made cuts from 15 events on the 2021 Race to Dubai but his best finish had been a tie for ninth. He claims his first win since the 2019 D+D Real Czech Masters and moves back into the top 100 on the Official World Golf Ranking in the process.
Thomas Pieters, statements
“It feels amazing,” he said. “It felt like a long time between victories but (caddie) Adam and I worked so hard and it felt like a deserved one. Two years is a long time. I’ve had a child in the meantime, who talks and runs around, it does feel like a long time. I was going into this week and next week with my back to the wall. I had nothing to lose but everything to gain. I’ve never missed the end of the Race to Dubai and really didn’t want to miss it. I didn’t care if I finished first, second or third. I just wanted to get there, but winning is amazing.”
A new career as a mental coach, alongside some of the best golfers in the world to drag them to success and support them in times of difficulty. This is what Michael Phelps, the most decorated athlete in the history of the Olympics, seems to have undertaken (also in the name of friendship). A great golf enthusiast, many now define him as the “secret weapon” of green totems such as Jon Rahm, number one in the world ranking, and Jordan Spieth, the Texan who, after a long period of crisis, is back in 2021 to amaze.
“He’s a good guy, he’s been through a lot as a sportsman and he’s the greatest Olympian of all time with a lot of tricks up his sleeve. I’m not going to reveal what I asked him but I can say that he has helped me a lot in the last period. “. These are the revelations of the Spaniard Rahm. For the legendary swimmer, nicknamed ‘the Baltimore Shark’, important words also came from Spieth, today 12 / o in the world ranking. “The mental aspect is something I’ve worked on a lot with him lately. I’m really lucky to have him around. Besides, he’s a great lover of golf and having him now more and more in our world is an added value.” This is the opinion of Spieth who yesterday, alongside Phelps, played the Pro-Am of the BMW Championship, the second event of the Play-Offs of the Pga Tour starting today in Owing Mills (USA), Maryland.