Thomas Pieters delivers in Denmark to raise Ryder Cup hopes

Belgian golfer times his third European Tour victory to perfection

Belgium's Thomas Pieters produced a brilliant finish to claim his third European Tour title in the Made in Denmark event and with it a possible Ryder Cup wild card.

In a final round delayed by more than four hours due to bad weather, Pieters birdied the last three holes in a closing 65 to finish 17 under par, a shot ahead of overnight leader Bradley Dredge.

Sweden's Joakim Lagergren stood on the 18th tee in a tie for the lead with playing partner Pieters, but lost his ball after a wayward drive and the resulting triple-bogey seven dropped him into fifth place behind David Lipsky and Adrian Otaegui.

Pieters was fourth in the Olympics and second in the defence of his Czech Masters title last week to force his name into the frame for one of European captain Darren Clarke’s three wild cards.


And after carding rounds of 62 and 71 while playing alongside the Northern Irishman in the first two rounds, the 24-year-old could not have done anything more to earn his place on the team for Hazeltine next month.

Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer – who finished joint sixth at Himmerland Golf and Spa Resort – have long been favourites to secure two of the wild cards as Clarke looks for experience alongside the five rookies among the nine automatic qualifiers.

But that leaves the former British Open champion with what appears to be a tough choice between Pieters and Scotland's Russell Knox, who won the WGC-HSBC Champions last November when not a European Tour member and added the Travelers Championship earlier this month.

Shane Lowry is probably an outside bet at this stage, the Irish golfer finishing his week in Denmark with a one-under 70 to finish on five under.

A birdie on the sixth and a bogey on the 10th saw Lowry level through 12 holes before a double-bogey on the 13th put him over par.

Lowry finished strongly, making three birdies in the final five holes to finish in a tie for 24th position.

Paul Dunne was the best-placed Irish golfer in the field, the Greystones man carding a one-under 70 to finish on nine under and a share of 10th position. Cormac Sharvin ended up on one under after a closing 72.