Thomas Pieters breaks three year duck with win in Prague

Belgian took the title for second time in five years thanks to a closing round of 69

Thomas Pieters of Belgium poses with the trophy after winning the D+D Real Czech Masters at Albatross Golf Resort in Prague, Czech Republic. Photo: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Thomas Pieters of Belgium poses with the trophy after winning the D+D Real Czech Masters at Albatross Golf Resort in Prague, Czech Republic. Photo: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

 

Belgium’s Thomas Pieters breathed a sigh of relief after ending his three-year wait for a fourth European Tour title by winning the D+D Real Czech Masters for the second time in five years.

Pieters took a one-shot lead into the final round at Albatross Golf Resort in Prague and carded a closing 69 to finish 19 under par, a shot ahead of playing partner Adri Arnaus, the Spanish rookie’s third runners-up finish this season.

England’s Sam Horsfield was two strokes further back alongside defending champion Andrea Pavan, who surged through the field with a final round of 65, the joint-lowest score of the day.

Pieters partnered Thomas Detry to victory in the World Cup in Melbourne last year but had not won an individual event since 2016, the year he won a record four points on his Ryder Cup debut at Hazeltine.

Paul Dunne shot a final round of 69 to finish in a tie for 23rd thanks to four birdies and a single bogey. It makes Dunne’s best finish in a singles event since the Made in Denmark in May. Pádraig Harrington’s first made cut in five events finished with a round of 70 for a share of 58th.

“I’m relieved. It’s been a long time,” Pieters said. “It feels good to win again. I never doubted myself but it’s just been a long road of not feeling that great with the golf swing. It feels good to get back on track again and get another win.

“It’s difficult when everybody says you should be winning two or three times a year. It’s always nice to hear that but it’s almost a negative sometimes because I always felt like I was underachieving, but hopefully, there’s many more like this.

“I felt like I was in control today, almost the whole day, and I kind of did my own thing.”

Pieters held a four-shot lead after going to the turn in 33 and picking up a fifth birdie of the day on the 12th but saw his advantage halved when he bogeyed the 16th and Arnaus made birdie.

Arnaus also birdied the 18th to ensure Pieters could not relax entirely but the 27-year-old safely holed his par putt from two feet.

“I’m really happy I got it done,” Pieters added. “What a great last three holes by Adri. Made that two-footer a bit nervy at the end.

“I’m pretty proud of myself the way I handled 15, I found myself in a really tough spot (after a wayward drive) and did the grown-up thing and took a drop and still made par. As I said the last two days I’m still learning.”

Collated final scores & totals in the European Tour D+D Real Czech Masters, Albatross Golf Resort, Prague, Czech Republic (British & Irl unless stated, par 72):

269 Thomas Pieters (Bel) 67 67 66 69

270 Adri Arnaus (Spa) 71 65 65 69

272 Sam Horsfield 69 66 69 68, Andrea Pavan (Ita) 68 68 71 65

274 Hugo Leon (Chi) 66 69 67 72, Liam Johnston 67 69 68 70, Rikard Karlberg (Swe) 69 67 66 72, Erik Van Rooyen (Rsa) 65 72 66 71, Matthias Schwab (Aut) 70 65 69 70

275 Robert Karlsson (Swe) 67 68 67 73

276 Haydn Porteous (Rsa) 69 70 69 68, Zander Lombard (Rsa) 68 70 73 65, Kim Koivu (Fin) 66 72 70 68

277 Romain Wattel (Fra) 68 71 69 69, Kristoffer Reitan (Nor) 66 71 66 74, Jack Singh Brar 69 68 67 73, Edoardo Molinari (Ita) 66 66 70 75

278 Ben Evans 72 69 68 69, Ashley Chesters 70 68 71 69, Masahiro Kawamura (Jpn) 72 68 65 73, Daniel Gavins 71 67 68 72, Alexander Levy (Fra) 70 70 70 68

279 Ivan Cantero Gutierrez (Spa) 71 67 72 69, Alexander Bjork (Swe) 71 68 69 71, Paul Dunne (Irl) 70 71 69 69, Robert Macintyre 69 72 68 70, Berry Henson (USA) 70 68 72 69, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (Spa) 70 70 67 72, Jacques Kruyswijk (Rsa) 69 67 71 72

280 David Howell 69 71 70 70, Paul Waring 70 71 70 69, Matthew Southgate 70 70 69 71, Darren Fichardt (Rsa) 67 74 72 67, James Morrison 73 68 68 71, Joachim B. Hansen (Den) 66 70 72 72, Jason Scrivener (Aus) 67 71 70 72, Bernd Wiesberger (Aut) 67 70 71 72, John Catlin (USA) 70 69 72 69

281 Mikko Korhonen (Fin) 70 67 67 77, Lee Slattery 65 71 71 74, Scott Jamieson 72 67 70 72, Aaron Rai 72 69 69 71, Renato Paratore (Ita) 71 68 71 71, Victor Dubuisson (Fra) 70 67 74 70, Tapio Pulkkanen (Fin) 69 69 71 72, Dimitrios Papadatos (Aus) 71 69 71 70, Bradley Dredge 70 71 68 72

282 Ricardo Gouveia (Por) 70 71 70 71, JC Ritchie (Rsa) 70 67 68 77, Espen Kofstad (Nor) 74 67 71 70

283 Sihwan Kim (Kor) 70 68 73 72, Mathiam Keyser (Rus) 71 70 71 71, Kalle Samooja (Fin) 68 70 69 76, Tom Murray 70 69 72 72, Bryce Easton (Rsa) 68 73 73 69, Wilco Nienaber (Rsa) 69 68 73 73, Oliver Fisher 69 72 69 73

284 Richie Ramsay 70 71 71 72, Matthew Nixon 70 67 77 70, Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel) 70 69 71 74, Dean Burmester (Rsa) 70 69 72 73, Thomas Bjorn (Den) 70 71 69 74, Chris Hanson 69 70 68 77, Justin Walters (Rsa) 72 69 72 71, Gavin Green (Mal) 64 75 70 75, Pádraig Harrington (Irl) 73 68 73 70

285 Stuart Manley 71 70 72 72

286 Chris Lloyd 70 70 72 74

288 Liam Robinson 70 71 70 77

297 Jeff Winther (Den) 69 72 79 77

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