Thomas Pieters is one of the banners of the Soudal Open, the prestigious golf tournament of the DP World Tour that is being organized this week at the Rinkven International Golf Club in Schilde, Antwerp. “It’s a great feeling to wake up in my own bed and be able to drive to work in 20 minutes,” Pieters said at the press conference on Tuesday.
Maarten Delvaux and Christian Ceuterinck
In 2018 and 2019, the Pieters family themselves organized the Belgian Knockout golf tournament in Schilde, thus providing the impetus for the much larger Soudal Open, which will be organized for the first time from Thursday to Sunday. “This is much easier for me and my family,” said Pieters. “Now I can turn off the switch after I get home instead of having to respond to Whatsapp messages and emails. The stress level is now down. Because setting up such a tournament in Belgium is a lot of work and stress. As a family we are very proud that we put this tournament here at the time and I am proud to be here today.”
After three years, Thomas Pieters can finally finish a tournament on his own soil, close to his home in Antwerp. “That’s fantastic. I’m really looking forward to this week. I hope there are many Belgian fans. If you’re a fan of me, Thomas Detry or Nicolas Colsaerts or golf in general, you only get one chance a year to see us at work in your own country. So I see no reason why you as a golf fan should not come here.”
Pieters knows the grounds of the Rinkven International Golf Club very well. “It is a difficult job. You can easily fall asleep here. You really have to stay focused because it’s very narrow here.”
The season of the 30-year-old from Antwerp – now number 36 in the world ranking – started excellently with a tournament win in Abu Dhabi, the most beautiful victory in his career. After that, the games went on with highs and lows. “I didn’t play badly, but the results were a bit lacking. I’ve been on planes a lot, that takes away a lot of energy. I’ve flown back and forth to America five or six times, it gets in your body. If you arrive in Los Angeles on Monday and you don’t feel well on Thursday, that’s not ideal. But that’s part of the job† I wasn’t so fresh anymore. In hindsight, I should have not played a few tournaments, but I don’t regret anything.”