Thomas Pieters might have been among the least-known players in Hazeltine last week for the Ryder Cup, but he’s a big name as he returns to the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland on Thursday.
In 2014, a strong finish here got Pieters into the mix for a European Tour card, and last week he racked up four points in five matches during Team Europe’s 17-11 loss to the US side.
“It’s a weird feeling, it’s only been two years since I was struggling for my card and now I’m here, just played The Ryder Cup, so like I said, it went a bit fast.”
Other Ryder Cup team members in the field are Martin Kamyer, Lee Westwood, Danny Willett, Matthew Fitzpatrick, and Rafa Cabrera Bello.
The Dunhill is one of the most anticipated and watched events on the European Tour because it matches players with amateurs from across the pantheon of society. After three rounds, the 60 best pros and 20 best Pro-Am teams get to play on the Old Course.
Last year, Thorbjorn Olesen of Norway won the pro part of the tournament, and finished eighth in the Pro-Am along with American surfer Kelly Slater. Among the more oddball pairings are Gregory Bourdy and actor Andy Garcia; Clement Berardo and American pop star Huey Lewis; David Howell and UK actor Hugh Grant, who really should play Phil Mickelson in a movie; and Robert Dinwiddie with former US Vice-President Dan Quayle.