Thomas Pieters Wins First European Tour Title In Over Two Years

In a nervy finish, Thomas Pieters holed a crucial par putt at the last to claim his fifth European Tour title at the Portugal Masters.

Thomas Pieters Wins Portugal Masters
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Thomas Pieters capitalised on some late mistakes from his nearest rivals, Matthieu Pavon and Nicolai Hojgaard, to claim his first European Tour title since the 2019 Czech Masters.

With only two holes remaining, there was a three-way tie for the lead. However, the former Ryder Cup star produced a birdie at the 17th before holing a stunning par putt at the last to win the title.

Speaking after his round, an emotional Pieters, said "It's amazing. It's felt like a long time between victories, but Adam (Caddie) and I have worked so hard and I've felt like we have deserved one.

"Winning is never easy. Coming down the stretch I saw Hojgaard up there, yet again, so I knew I needed birdies down the last two. That putt down the last was honestly fantastic!"

Thomas Pieters Wins Portugal Masters

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Starting the final day in a share of the lead with Pavon, Pieters found himself two shots back through 11 holes, with the Frenchman at four-under for the day and Pieters two.

But, we then saw a four shot swing at the par-5 12th, with Pieters in for a birdie. Pavon would make a costly triple bogey 8, dropping him two back.

It was then Pieters' turn to make a mistake, with the 29-year-old finding water at the 14th. He soon saw himself in a three-way tie for the lead with Pavon and 20-year-old Hojgaard.

However, playing in the group ahead of Pieters and Pavon, Hojgaard would make a bogey at the last hole, setting the clubhouse target at 17-under-par.

Seconds later, yet more drama followed. As Pavon found the water at the 17th, his playing partner would hit the shot of the day, his approach shot finishing 20-feet from the flag for eagle.

With Pavon making bogey, Pieters two-putted for birdie, and a two-shot buffer playing the treacherous last.

Thomas Pieters Wins Portugal Masters

(Image credit: Getty Images)

After Pavon put his approach close, Pieters was left with a tough up-and-down for the title and, after his chip, the Belgian was still left a fair amount of work to get his par.

In a common theme throughout the back nine though, Pieters was up to the challenge, calmly rolling in his 20-foot putt to claim his fifth European Tour title.

"Walking down the 18th was nice with a two-shot lead," joked Pieters, "I was aiming for this front right portion of the green, and I thought that a bogey at the last was going to be enough.

"That shot on 17 was one of the best I've ever hit. The feeling you get when you hit that shot is amazing and that's why I play this game."

Matt Cradock
Staff Writer

Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.

Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.

Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?

Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°

Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°

Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°

Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x