fbpx
thomas pieters

Thomas Pieters: LIV Golf move won’t stop Ryder Cup ambition

The Belgian reveals how he had already made his mind up on switching to the rebel tour – despite the consequences. It won't stop him trying to make captain Luke Donald's life difficult, though
 

DP World Tour star Thomas Pieters grasped the chance to join LIV Golf following a season-ending injury to Hudson Swafford.

Speaking to the Telegraph, Pieters revealed that although he decided to join LIV last summer, the opportunity didn’t arise until receiving a call last week after Swafford revealed he required hip surgery.

The Belgian is arguably the biggest name to join the Saudi-financed league in 2023 following the acquisitions of Mito Pereira, Sebastian Munoz, Brendan Steele, Danny Lee, and Dean Burmester.

He has since posted on social media to say he’d made “a big decision for himself and my family” to join the Range Goats at the first event of LIV’s second season in Mexico this week.

“I had a call on Thursday – not even a week ago – asking if I wanted Hudson’s spot,” Pieters said. “To be truthful, in my heart, I decided last summer that I wanted to join LIV. But it was not until a few days ago I got the opportunity.

“You don’t wish ill on anyone, and I hope Hudson gets recovered soon, but, as a professional, you have to grasp chances when they arise

“Of course, I have done this with my family and our daughters at the forefront of our thinking. It has been a whirlwind since then, sorting everything out and getting everything ready over the weekend. I had to tell everybody, for one thing.”

The World No 35 is now unlikely to play in the Ryder Cup for Europe in September when before he appeared to have a strong chance of making Luke Donald’s 12-man team.

Pieters made his debut for Europe in 2016 on the losing side at Hazeltine, but he left his mark on the event by earning four points as a rookie.

If Henrik Stenson’s removal as European captain is anything to go by, players who’ve made the switch to LIV have little chance of being involved in Rome, unless Donald chooses Pieters as one of his six captain’s picks.

thomas pieters

“I swapped texts with Luke, but he is in a tough position,” Pieters added. “It was a difficult decision for me, for sure. The Ryder Cup has always been an ambition and it was a dream to play in 2016. I’ve been trying to get back ever since.

“I enjoyed the Hero Cup last month and naturally would love to be in Rome. But I accept the consequences of this choice, whatever they turn out to be.

“I haven’t given up on playing in it again, including this year even. We will have to see. I could still qualify. I’m in all the majors this year.

“Maybe I can play so well that it’ll make it very difficult not to pick me. I don’t know. Maybe that will not be possible.”

LIV Golf players have been suspended from the PGA Tour, but they haven’t received such treatment in the major championships.

Golf’s four biggest events represent significant opportunities for players like Pieters to improve their world rankings, maintain major exemptions and earn vital points in the Ryder Cup standings.

Golf fans could be forgiven for thinking Pieter’s outburst on Twitter over not playing at the Genesis Invitational was a sign of joining LIV, but he maintains this was not the case.

The six-time DP World Tour winner was frustrated that his commendable world ranking wasn’t enough to play at Riviera, but as NCG explained, world rankings weren’t part of the eligibility criteria.

“I was talking to my friends and they were saying ‘Hey, we can’t wait to watch that pairing with Tiger and Rory and JT’ and I just became a bit angry that, as a player with my ranking, I wasn’t playing.

“It was just bad timing, I guess, because people understandably supposed all things. But I didn’t even know I was coming to LIV at that point and that shows how quickly all this has happened.”

Do you think LIV golfers should be able to play in the Ryder Cup? Tweet me and let me know!

Matt Chivers

Matt Chivers

Now on the wrong side of 25, Matt has been playing golf since the age of 13 and was largely inspired to take up the game by countless family members who played golf during his childhood.

Matt is a member at Royal Cinque Ports in Deal playing off a 5 handicap, just a pitching wedge away from his hometown of Dover where he went to school and grew up. He has previously been a member at Etchinghill and Walmer and Kingsdown in Kent.

Having studied history at the University of Liverpool, Matt went on to pass his NCTJ Exams in Manchester a year later to fulfil his lifelong ambition of becoming a journalist. He picked up work experience along the way at places such as the Racing Post, the Independent, Sportsbeat and the Lancashire Evening Post.

Matt joined NCG in February 2023 and is the website’s main source of tour news, features and opinion. He has reported live from events such as The Open, the Ryder Cup and The Players Championship, having also interviewed and spoken to the likes of Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood, Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell, Henrik Stenson, to name just a few.

Consuming tour golf on what is a 24/7 basis, you can come to Matt for informed views on the game and the latest updates on the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA Tour, Ladies European Tour and LIV Golf.

What’s in Matt’s bag: Cobra LTDx LS driver, Cobra LTDx 3-wood, TaylorMade P7MC irons, Ping Glide 4.0 wedges, Odyssey putter.

Latest Posts

paul McGinley

Ryder Cup

Paul McGinley becomes Strategic Advisor to Luke Donald for 2025 Ryder Cup

By

Read full article about Paul McGinley becomes Strategic Advisor to Luke Donald for 2025 Ryder Cup

Ryder Cup

Jon Rahm: ‘I would do whatever I can’ to make Ryder Cup

By

Read full article about Jon Rahm: ‘I would do whatever I can’ to make Ryder Cup
jon rahm ryder cup

Ryder Cup

Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton offered renewed Ryder Cup hope by DP World Tour chief

By

Read full article about Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton offered renewed Ryder Cup hope by DP World Tour chief
jon rahm ryder cup

Ryder Cup

Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton must ‘jump hurdles’ to play another Ryder Cup

By

Read full article about Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton must ‘jump hurdles’ to play another Ryder Cup
shane lowry joe lacava

Ryder Cup

‘You p****!’: Shane Lowry and Joe LaCava’s Ryder Cup row revealed on Netflix

By

Read full article about ‘You p****!’: Shane Lowry and Joe LaCava’s Ryder Cup row revealed on Netflix
keegan bradley full swing

Ryder Cup

‘Anger, sadness’: Keegan Bradley Ryder Cup rejection laid bare on Full Swing

By

Read full article about ‘Anger, sadness’: Keegan Bradley Ryder Cup rejection laid bare on Full Swing
tyrrell hatton ryder cup

LIV Golf

Tyrrell Hatton: I am not a Ryder Cup certainty in 2025

By

Read full article about Tyrrell Hatton: I am not a Ryder Cup certainty in 2025
luke donald ryder cup

Ryder Cup

Follow the rules and you’re in! Luke Donald’s Ryder Cup message to Rahm and Hatton

By

Read full article about Follow the rules and you’re in! Luke Donald’s Ryder Cup message to Rahm and Hatton
paul lawrie ryder cup

Ryder Cup

‘That’s not going to happen’: Paul Lawrie declares end to Ryder Cup captaincy hopes

By

Read full article about ‘That’s not going to happen’: Paul Lawrie declares end to Ryder Cup captaincy hopes