Pieters stakes Ryder Cup claim with Denmark win

Thomas Pieters won by a shot at Himmerland Resort from Bradley Dredge

Thomas Pieters wins Made in Denmark
Thomas Pieters wins Made in Denmark
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Belgium’s Thomas Pieters closed with three straight birdies to win the Made in Denmark tournament and stake his claim to a Ryder Cup Captain’s pick.

Thomas Pieters carded an excellent final round of 65 at the Himmerland Golf & Spa Resort to win the Made in Denmark by a single shot from Welshman Bradley Dredge. With the victory, the Belgian sent a clear message to European Ryder Cup Captain Darren Clarke as he considers his three wild card picks for Hazeltine.

Pieters began the final day in Denmark a shot off the lead held by Dredge, but birdies at the 4th, 6th and 8th put the Belgian in front. The players then had to endure a four-hour weather delay before heading back out to complete the final round.

Pieters made a bogey on the 9th immediately after the break, and a chip-in by Adrien Otaegui on the 8th gave the Spaniard the lead. The back nine was a tense affair with four players sharing the lead at one stage. But Pieters finished the strongest. He closed with three straight birdies to win by a shot.

"It's all about winning tournaments. I'm really happy with this one,” he said. “That was one of my goals, to just have one every year, just so you know you're improving and you can win. That's very important. I'm very, very happy."

4 Talking points from the Made in Denmark

1 – Thomas Pieters went into this tournament as one of the players in the running to secure a Ryder Cup Captain’s pick for the matches at Hazeltine in September. The Belgian could not have done more to convince Darren Clarke that he is deserving of selection. The youngster played with Clarke in the first two rounds – firing a superb 62 on the opening day – and he won the competition in some style, demonstrating that he can keep his cool when the pressure is on. Another man who could receive a Captain’s pick from Clarke, Martin Kaymer, was full of praise for Pieters’ performance. “If I was the Captain, I would pick him,” he said.

Thomas Pieters driving tips:

2 – Bradley Dredge drained a lengthy putt across the 18th green that gave him second place on his own. The birdie earned the Welshman €200,000. He has climbed to 21st place on the Race to Dubai standings.

3 – Sweden’s Joakim Lagergren was tied with Peters on 16-under-par standing on the 18th tee. But he hit a terrible final tee shot, pulling his drive into a forest. He lost his ball and ended up carding a seven that dropped him into 5th place. Still, the result was an important one for the Swede. He went into the week 128th on the Race to Dubai and he has now climbed to 91st - the top 110 at the end of the season retain playing rights for 2017.

4 – The other Ryder Cup selection hopefuls playing in Denmark all performed well. Martin Kaymer played solidly to finish in a tie for 6th; home favourite Soren Kjeldsen ended the week tied 8th and Ireland’s Shane Lowry recovered from a poor first round to make the top-25. Clarke will have a tough decision to make by Tuesday but Pieters has surely done enough to earn a place.

Made in Denmark Himmerland Golf & Spa Resort, Farso, Denmark Aug 25-28 Purse €1,800,000, par 71

1    Thomas Pieters (Bel)    62    71    69    65    267    €300,000 2    Bradley Dredge (Wal)    63    66    72    67    268    €200,000 T3    David Lipsky (USA)    65    70    67    67    269    €101,340 T3    Adrien Otaegui (Esp)    68    66    68    67    269    €101,340 5    Joakim Lagergren (Swe) 62    70    71    68    271    €76,320 T6    Martin Kaymer (Ger)    69    70    66    68    273    €58,500 T6    Jaco Van Zyl (RSA)    67    76    66    65    273    €58,500 T8    Ricardo Gouveia (Por)    69    67    69    69    274    €42,660 T8    Soren Kjeldsen (Den)    68    67    73    66    274    €42,660 T10    Paul Dunne (Ire)        68    68    69    70    275    €33,360 T10    Mikael Lundberg (Swe)    71    69    69    66    275    €33,360 T10    Richard Sterne (RSA)    66    67    73    69    275    €33,360

Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly. 

Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?