European Tour

Pieters takes thrilling win in Denmark

2016-08-28 19:27
Thomas Pieters (File)

Fars - Thomas Pieters birdied the last three holes to claim a one-shot victory in the Made in Denmark event in Farso on Sunday.

The Belgian's excellence gives European Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke a headache, with the Northern Irishman to name his wildcard picks by Tuesday.

Pieters carded a six-under-par 65 to take his third European Tour title on 17 under par overall.

Welshman Bradley Dredge led by one overnight on 12 under par, but had to settle for second place.

Pieters had to successfully defend his Czech Masters title last week and win in Denmark to take the last automatic European qualification spot for the Ryder Cup matches that start next month in Hazeltine.

But he was runner-up to little-known American Paul Peterson in Prague, meaning that despite his win on Sunday, he still needs a captain's pick from Clarke, who he played with in the first two rounds at the Himmerland Golf Resort.

"I'm very pleased with the way I closed this out," Pieters told the European Tour website.

"The eight iron I hit on the last was what you practice for and to make the putt was satisfying."

When asked if he thought he had given Clarke a headache, he added: "I would say so, yeah."

Pieters started the day in a tie for second with American David Lipsky and Spaniard Adrian Otaegui at one stroke behind Dredge going into the final round.

Swede Joakim Lagergren, the world number 376, was just one shot further back and playing alongside Pieters.

Both players made good starts by going out in two-under-par 34s for a front nine that was disrupted because of the threat of lightning.

Dredge made a double-bogey five on the par-three second hole, but bounced back with a birdie at four and an eagle on the par-five sixth.

Otaegui stayed bang in contention too with three front-nine birdies.

But the 43-year-old Dredge, seeking a first European Tour title since 2006, pulled clear once more just after the turn with two birdies to start the front nine to get to 15 under for the tournament.

The tournament was taken by the scruff of the neck by the duo of Pieters and Lagergren in the closing stages though.

Lagergren reeled off four straight birdies to reach the final tee on 16 under par, level with the 24-year-old Pieters who birdied the 16th and 17th holes to stay in contention.

But on a hole that only yielded six birdies all day, Lagergren's challenge came to a sad end as he lost his ball in some devilish rough off the tee and took a triple bogey to sign for a 68 and fifth place.

Pieters had no such trouble though, as he sent a wonderful approach shot to within six feet before draining the putt with the minimum of fuss to all but seal the victory.

Dredge holed a long putt to take second place in the event for the second time in three years, as Otaegui and Lipsky finished in a tie for third.

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