Paul Peterson of the USA was 12-under-par for the last 36 holes to beat Thomas Pieters by as shot to the D+D REAL Czech Masters title in Prague.
Paul Peterson fired a course record 64 on Saturday at the Albatross Golf Club outside Prague to get within two shots of Ryder Cup hopeful Thomas Pieters at the top of the leaderboard.
The American closed to within one with a birdie on the 3rd and then levelled with the defending champion Pieters after a superb shot into the 5th.
Peterson took to the front with another birdie on the 9th but a dropped shot on the 11th saw him drop back into a share once more. Peterson claimed the advantage again on the 16th and he sealed the victory with a 20-foot birdie putt on the home hole. It was a great effort with Pieters having applied the pressure by firing his approach to the home hole to within a few feet of the cup.
“I didn’t really watch him hit a shot today, to be honest,” added Peterson. “I know he’s a long hitter and I play a little bit more precision golf. I was just trying to frustrate him because I knew I would be hitting in first a lot so I just stuck to my process all day and was able to hit some fantastic shots under the pump.”
3 Talking points from the D+D REAL Czech Masters
1 – This was a first European Tour victory for Paul Peterson in just his 23rd start on the circuit. He is only the seventh left-handed player to win on the European Tour. Aged 28, Peterson has played a couple of seasons on the Asian Tour – he finished fifth on the money list on that circuit in 2015 having posted six top-10 finishes. This win gives him an exemption on the European Tour to the end of 2017.
“This is the best feeling in the world,” he said. “My team and I have put in so much hard work and long hours by everybody and I’m just so happy. We had this as a goal this year so to accomplish it means so much.”
2 – Following a strong showing in the Olympic Games, Thomas Pieters made the 6,000-mile journey to Prague knowing that back-to-back wins in the Czech Republic and in Denmark could still gain him an automatic qualifying place for the European Ryder Cup team. The Belgian put on an excellent defence of the title but came up just shy. He was left to contemplate a disappointing day with the putter and will now require a captain’s pick if he’s to make it to Hazeltine.
“I’ve hit it well all week but I hit a couple of bad putts and then a couple that just didn’t want to go in. It’s just not my day,” he said.
Thomas Pieters driving tips:
3 – England’s Matt Fitzpatrick has reason to be cheerful with regards the Ryder Cup. His fifth place finish in Prague all but secured his place in the team.
“It’s very exciting now,” he said. “We can look forward to it and get my game in shape.
D+D REAL Czech Masters
Albatross Golf Resort, Prague, Czech Republic
Purse €1,000,000, par 72
1 Paul Peterson (USA) 72 70 64 67 273 €166,660
2 Thomas Pieters (Bel) 67 67 70 70 274 €111,110
T3 Ryan Evans (Eng) 66 73 70 68 277 €56,300
T3 David Howell (Eng) 70 68 71 68 277 €56,300
5 Matthew Fitzpatrick (Eng) 69 69 71 69 278 €42,400
6 David Lipsky (USA) 71 70 68 70 279 €35,000
T7 Gary Boyd (Eng) 72 73 66 69 280 €24,350
T7 Robert Karlsson (Swe) 68 70 71 71 280 €24,350
T7 Robert Rock (Eng) 72 70 65 73 280 €24,350
T7 Graeme Storm (Eng) 68 72 68 72 280 €24,350
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage