Ryder prodigy Pieters likes to take risks

Published: Sun 15 Jan 2017, 9:11 PM

Last updated: Sun 15 Jan 2017, 11:14 PM

abu dhabi - Ryder Cup prodigy Thomas Pieters, all of 24 years, is touted as a player to watch out for this year. He is happy to take risks in life when it matters. The Belgian has set his eyes on Majors and World Golf Championships and starts his season with Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, where he was runner-up last year. He loves Tiger Woods and finds inspiration in Jack Nicklaus.
Excerpts from the interview
Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship has been a happy course for you. What are the other tournaments you are aiming for next year?
Pieters: I'm still confirming my schedule for the year but I'll be focusing quite heavily on the Majors and WGC's as well as playing a bit in Europe and the US. I'm looking forward to kick-starting my season here in Abu Dhabi though and hopefully a good finish can spur me on to more good things in 2017.
You let go your senior year in University to turn professional. Are you a sort of person who would take calculated risks or the decision was one-off?
It's hard to say, I think I'm somewhere between the two extremes. I'm happy to take a few risks whether that be on the course or not but at the same time, I like to be informed and talk about the decision with my team and family. You could argue that leaving college was a risk but I'd talked about the decision with so many people and the pros and con of staying vs leaving and it just felt right to turn pro at that time and I felt like I could make a really good go in the paid ranks.
How important is it to start playing from an early age?
If you start playing golf when you're growing up, then I think you definitely pick it up quicker and will have those skills for life but there are enough guys on Tour who didn't start until they were 16 or 18 and are obviously incredible players. All people are different and I think that you find your way with golf when you start trying it.
Do you have a role model? Or anyone you followed so far?
Growing up, I always loved Tiger Woods, if he's not your hero as a young golfer growing up when I did, then something's wrong with you. I also looked up to Jack Nicklaus for his talent, he's an inspirational guy and it's amazing to think about what he has achieved on and off the course. Although he's a good friend of mine, I get a lot of advice from Nicolas Colsaerts and although you couldn't tell him I think this, he was the first guy to put Belgium golf on the map and he's got so much experience on what to do and say so I look up to him a lot.

By Ashwani Kumar

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

More news from