Sunday, August 28, 2016

Paul Lawrie (T15) leads Scots at Himmerland Spa Resort

Pieters' birdie-birdie-birdie finish dumps Dredge in Denmark

Belgium's Thomas Pieters produced a brilliant finish to win his third European Tour title at the Made in Denmark Tournament and send a message to Ryder Cup Captain Darren Clarke.
Pieters arrived at Himmerland Golf and Spa Resort as the form man on Tour with top five finishes in his last two events but knowing that automatic qualification for the European team to go to Hazeltine in September was out of his reach.
He played the first two rounds with Clarke and opened with a course record-equalling 62 before giving a masterclass in scrambling to a level par 71 on Friday.
Today Pieters showed incredible coolness under pressure, shrugging off the distraction of a 4hr 15min bad weather suspension of play  to almost make a hole-in-one on the 16th and put his approaches on the 17th and 18th to close range for three closing birdies and a 17 under par total.
That gave him a 65 and a one-shot win over Bradley Dredge, and will also give Clarke some food for thought ahead of making his three captain's picks on Tuesday.

"I really needed a good finish," said Pieters. "I saw I was one back walking to the green on 16 and I hit a great shot there but I knew I needed to make at least one more. To finish with two more birdies was pretty cool.
"It's all about winning tournaments. I'm really happy with this one. That was one of my goals, to just have one every year, just so you know you're improving and you can win. That's very important. I'm very, very happy.
"He (Clarke) has got plenty of good players to pick from, so if he doesn't pick me, then so be it and I'll work my butt off to get there in the next one. But I've done all I can now and I'm just really pleased with this win to be honest."
For Dredge, it was a second runner-up finish at this event after he lost out to Marc Warren in 2014, and he finished a shot ahead of Adrian Otaegui and David Lipsky.
Swede Joakim Lagergren was then at 13 under after a closing triple-bogey, two shots ahead of another Ryder Cup hopeful in German Martin Kaymer and South African Jaco Van Zyl.
Belgian Pieters made birdies at the fourth, sixth and eighth to open up a one-shot advantage over Dredge and Spaniard Otaegui, when the stormy conditions that had prompted organisers to bring the tee times forward arrived.
A lengthy delay followed and Pieters bogeyed the ninth upon the resumption, with Otaegui producing a chip-in on the eighth to take the lead.
Otaegui fell back with two bogeys in three holes while Pieters birdied the 11th, but Dredge and American Lipsky both made back-to-back birdies on the tenth and 11th as the Welshman took a one-shot lead.

Lipsky birdied the 14th to join Dredge, and when Lagergen made a third gain in a row on the 16th as Pieters narrowly missed out on an ace, there was a four-way tie at the top.
Otaegui had birdied the 14th, 16th and 17th to get back into contention but when Pieters and Lagergren both birdied the 17th, they stood on the final tee tied for the lead at 16 under.
Lagergen lost his ball off the tee to record a triple-bogey as Pieters made it three in a row, and Dredge then holed a monster putt on the last to make second his own.
Local favourite Søren Kjeldsen delighted the home crowd with a closing 66 to get to ten under alongside Portugal's Ricardo Gouveia, a shot ahead of Paul Dunne, Mikael Lundberg and Richard Sterne.
par 284 (4x71)
267 T Pieters (Belgium) 62 71 69 65
268 B Dredge (Wales) 63 66 72 67
269 A Otaegui (Spain) 68 66 68 67, D Lipsky (USA) 65 70 67 67

277 P Lawrie 70 66 72 69 (T15)
280 R  Ramsay 67 69 73 71 (T26)
281 G Murray 70 67 74 70 (T34)
283 C Lee 72 69 70 72, D Drysdale 69 73 72 69 (T44)





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