Thomas Pieters edged closer to securing a fifth consecutive appearance at the season-ending DP World Tour Championship after breaking into the top 50 of the European Tour’s Race to Dubai with his first victory in three years at the D+D Real Czech Masters.
The Belgian Thomas Pieters, who secured his maiden win at the same venue in 2015, led from start to finish on Sunday, with four birdies on the front nine keeping the chasing pack at arm’s length and a further gain at the 12th powering him over the line for a one-stroke triumph over Spaniard Adri Arnaus.
“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,” said the 2016 Ryder Cup star, who finished on 19 under par to jump up to 42nd from 66th in the Race to Dubai Rankings.
“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. Hopefully now there’s many more days like this.”
Despite missing out on a maiden victory, Arnaus continued his superb form on his rookie year on the European Tour after posting his third runner-up finish in 2019. The 2018 Challenge Tour graduate moves up 16 places to 30th in the Race to Dubai Rankings, putting him in contention for a debut outing at Jumeirah Golf Estates.
“I never gave up, I tried to make some birdies coming in and see if he would make a mistake but he didn’t,” said the 2018 Ras Al Khaimah Challenge Tour Grand Final champion.
“Every week I come out here I learn and I’ll take a lot from this one I’m sure. I’m just enjoying the process at the moment and hopefully I can be up there again in the next few weeks.”
Meanwhile, last year’s winner Andrea Pavan and Sam Horsfield finished three shots behind to share third place. Italian Pavan climbs up to 27th from 36th while Englishman Horsfield jumps up to 123rd from 157th.
The top 50 players in the Race to Dubai Rankings will contest the season-ending US$8million DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai from November 21-24 where US$3 million will be up for grabs for the winner, making it the richest prize in world tournament golf.