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d+d Real Czech Masters report

Pieters returns to winners’ circle in Prague

Thomas Pieters won his fourth European Tour title at the Czech Masters, but the rules are once again making headlines as Soo-min Lee fell foul of a flagstick fiasco
 

D+D Real Czech Masters report: What happened at the Albatross Golf Resort?

Belgium’s Thomas Pieters finally returned to the winners’ circle after almost three years without a win after he claimed the Czech Masters trophy with a score of 19-under-par.

Pieters became the first man to win the event on two occasions and held off a final-round challenge from playing partner Adri Arnaus.

Four rounds in the 60s saw Pieters win with a one-shot margin and closed out the week in style, despite a few loose tee shots coming down the stretch.

A highlight came on the 17th when after finding some tricky rough, the Belgian found a brilliant recovery shot setting up a simple two-putt for par.

His front-nine contained four birdies and a solitary bogey, which had him cruising at the turn, but Arnaus applied pressure throughout the final holes to close the gap.

Two birdies in his final three holes – rounded off with a lovely putt at the last – ensured Pieters had to concentrate over his short par putt at 18.

D+D Real Czech Masters report: Talking points

Now you might remember when Edoardo Molinari rather controversially but entertainingly ousted the names of the European Tour’s slowest players. And for the first two rounds in Prague Molinari was paired with one of the most in-form players on the planet, Erik van Rooyen.

The South African has never been the quickest, but things have changed…

A few of the replies suggest Van Rooyen may only have sped up because he was playing alongside Molinari, but perhaps his routine has simply been improved and to be honest, either way it’s good for golf.

**

Soo-min Lee was disqualified from the event on Saturday while on 7-under-par when his caddie left the flagstick in after the player had decided to have it tended.

The South Korean player was on the 11th green and asked his caddie to tend to the flag while he putted – this should see the caddie remove the flagstick once the putt has been struck but before it has reached the hole.

However, his caddie left the flag in for the entirety of the putt which was in fact holed and because the player had made the decision for his caddie to tend to the flag rules 11.2c and 3.3c came into play.

Because the flagstick was not removed as per rule 13.2a, the player could have retaken the putt from the same spot with a two-shot penalty and carried on with his round.

But Lee picked his ball out of the hole and moved to the next tee.

Due to the fact that he has broken rule 13.2a of having the flagstick removed when being attended and not retaken the putt with the penalty as rule 11.2c states, he is considered not to have holed out under rule 3.3c because he has continued and teed off on the next hole.

3.3c dictates that if you fail to hole out and tee off from the next hole, a disqualification is issued.

Joe Hughes

Tour editor covering men's golf, women's golf and anything else that involves the word golf, really. The talk is far better than the game, but the work has begun to change that.

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