Portugal Masters’ champion in great shape to make history
Thomas Pieters, 2021 Portugal Masters winner (Photo: GETTY IMAGES)

Portugal Masters’ champion in great shape to make history

Belgium’s Thomas Pieters aiming to end 2022 on a high

Reigning Portugal Masters’ champion Thomas Pieters aims to end 2022 on a high, by becoming the first player to successfully defend his title.

Victory would coincide with another monumental event in the 30-year-old Belgian’s life, as he is due to become a father for the second time in November, with the Vilamoura tournament his final event of the season.

The Belgian secured his fifth DP World Tour title at Vilamoura last year, with a 2-stroke victory over three players, tied in 2nd place: Frenchman Matthieu Pavon, and the Danish duo of Lucas Bjerregaard and Nicolai Højgaard.

Pieter’s 2021 Algarve triumph sparked a run of great form, as he reclaimed a top-50 place in the world rankings. In January, he secured a first victory in Rolex Series events at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, his sixth trophy on the DP World Tour.

Nicolai Højgaard, fotografia de Warren Little-Getty Images – Danish Nicolai Højgaard (Photo: WARREN LITTLE/GETTY IMAGES)

The Belgian is currently ranked 6th in the DP World Tour Rankings, following consistently positive results, including runner-up at Germany’s BMW International Open; 3rd place at the Cazoo Open de France; and top 10 finishes in three ranking tournaments.

Pieters relishes the prospect of making history at Vilamoura. “I am very excited to be returning to Vilamoura. I’m really proud of my victory last year and how I was able to close the race. I hope I can conclude the season on a high note. With Ryder Cup points on the line, the incentive is even greater to do well in every event I participate in, because I would love to have the opportunity to represent Europe again.”

As the last regular event of the year awarding 2022 DP World Tour Rankings points, a defending champion in top form – determined to repeat last year’s triumph – and the further incentive of Ryder Cup points, the Portugal Masters is guaranteed to yet again provide a highly memorable golfing spectacular.

 Tom Callan is editor of Clubhouse Algarve magazine (https://clubhousealgarve.com/)