Lewis flirts with history as Pieters states Ryder Cup case


Hertfordshire’s Tom Lewis flirted with the first 59 in European Tour history on a dramatic opening day in Made in Denmark as Belgium’s Thomas Pieters once again underlined his Ryder Cup case.

Lewis needed to par his way in for an historic sub-60 round after reaching 12 under par through 13 holes at Himmerland Golf & Spa Resort, but three bogeys in his closing five holes meant he had to settle for a round of 62 and a three-way share of the lead with Pieters and Sweden’s Joakim Lagergren.

Pieters, who is hoping for a pick from European Ryder Cup Captain Darren Clarke for Hazeltine National, showed few signs of pressure whilst playing under the Northern Irishman’s watchful eye, as he posted ten birdies and one bogey to continue his strong recent form, following fourth place in the Olympics and second place in last week’s D+D Real Czech Masters.

Lagergren had earlier set the clubhouse target on a day of low scoring, equalling the course record set by his compatriot Kristoffer Broberg in the final round 12 months ago.

Bradley Dredge, who has finished in the top ten in both of his previous appearances in the tournament, trails the leading trio by one shot after an eight under par 63.

Lewis, who has been struggling for form in recent seasons, and is currently ranked 184th on the money list, said: “It was a good round today, but ultimately a disappointing one. It’s hard to be disappointed with nine under par, but everyone call tell a 59 was on there, and unfortunately I came up just short.”

He added: “To be honest, I thought 57 was on. I had a couple more chances and I thought 59, fine, we will just keep going. Unfortunately, it just caught up with me a little bit. I hit a couple of good ones that missed, and a couple of bad ones that went in. But it’s not a problem, if I go out there tomorrow, and do the same thing I did today, I could shoot another nine under.”

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Thomas Pieters signed for a nine-under par 62 watched on by Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke

Pieters, who narrowly failed to win the Czech Masters last week, continued to state his case for a captain’s pick for the Ryder Cup, with another impressive day. “It was stress free today,” he said. “I drove it well off the tee, hit it close, and made a bunch of putts. The greens are very good and everything about the course is great. I did all I could in front of Darren today. He has a lot on his mind other than golf and we will just have to wait and see. It’s up to Darren. If I do win this week, it might get him thinking, but I just have tomorrow to worry about.”

 

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