Thomas Pieters almost saved his season Sunday during the final round of the PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club.
The Belgian bomber had endured a rough 2018, but he cruised up the leaderboard with six birdies in his first 16 holes. Pieters was one shot behind leader Brooks Koepka at one point.
But Pieters collapsed on the par-5 17th, making a messy double-bogey after twice hitting his ball in the water. He finished the day with a 4-under 66 to get to 10 under, and in the top 5 when he signed his scorecard.
— PGA Championship (@PGAChampionship) August 12, 2018
“I played really well,” Pieters said after his round. “I’m happy with the week, obviously it’s a tough one to take, but then again I’ve had a very, very rough year and a half and it’s nice to play some good golf now. So I’m quite happy.”
Pieters entered the year inside the top 40 in the world ranking, and he was ranked 24th last summer. But a drop in form this year has knocked him back to 71st entering the week.
“It’s just nice to contend,” he said. “I had a feeling like I could win this if I put up something nice and I haven’t had that feeling in any tournament. It’s nice to do it here, obviously. So, yeah, I think that I got in a good run of form about two years ago around this time so we’ll see.”
While Pieters is way back in the European Ryder Cup standings, he’s displayed some solid recent form. He also turned heads in 2016, when he went 4-1-0 in his first Ryder Cup appearance.
“It’s not really in my hands, I don’t think I can play my way in,” Pieters said of the 2018 Ryder Cup. “If I need a pick then hopefully I get a pick, but I’m not worried about it.
“Definitely it’s going to get him thinking, I guess,” Pieters said of captain Thomas Bjorn picking him. “But then again I’ve only just started to get in form and we’ll see. Hopefully I play well my next two tournaments in Prague and in Denmark and we’ll see.”
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