Made in Denmark 2016
Round 4 - Late birdies seal win for Thomas Pieters
August 28, 2016
Thomas Pieters birdied the last three holes to claim a one-shot victory in the Made in Denmark event in Farso on Sunday.
The Belgian's excellence gives European Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke a headache, with the Northern Irishman to name his wildcard picks by Tuesday.
Pieters carded a six-under-par 65 to take his third European Tour title on 17 under par overall.
Welshman Bradley Dredge led by one overnight on 12 under par, but had to settle for second place.
Pieters had to successfully defend his Czech Masters title last week and win in Denmark to take the last automatic European qualification spot for the Ryder Cup matches that start next month in Hazeltine.
But he was runner-up to little-known American Paul Peterson in Prague, meaning that despite his win on Sunday, he still needs a captain's pick from Clarke, who he played with in the first two rounds at the Himmerland Golf Resort.
"I'm very pleased with the way I closed this out," Pieters told the European Tour website.
"The eight iron I hit on the last was what you practice for and to make the putt was satisfying."
When asked if he thought he had given Clarke a headache, he added: "I would say so, yeah."
Pieters started the day in a tie for second with American David Lipsky and Spaniard Adrian Otaegui at one stroke behind Dredge going into the final round.
Swede Joakim Lagergren, the world number 376, was just one shot further back and playing alongside Pieters.
Both players made good starts by going out in two-under-par 34s for a front nine that was disrupted because of the threat of lightning.
Dredge made a double-bogey five on the par-three second hole, but bounced back with a birdie at four and an eagle on the par-five sixth.
Otaegui stayed bang in contention too with three front-nine birdies.
But the 43-year-old Dredge, seeking a first European Tour title since 2006, pulled clear once more just after the turn with two birdies to start the front nine to get to 15 under for the tournament.
The tournament was taken by the scruff of the neck by the duo of Pieters and Lagergren in the closing stages though.
Lagergren reeled off four straight birdies to reach the final tee on 16 under par, level with the 24-year-old Pieters who birdied the 16th and 17th holes to stay in contention.
But on a hole that only yielded six birdies all day, Lagergren's challenge came to a sad end as he lost his ball in some devilish rough off the tee and took a triple bogey to sign for a 68 and fifth place.
Pieters had no such trouble though, as he sent a wonderful approach shot to within six feet before draining the putt with the minimum of fuss to all but seal the victory.
Dredge holed a long putt to take second place in the event for the second time in three years, as Otaegui and Lipsky finished in a tie for third.
Round 3 - Bradley Dredge holds on to lead
August 28, 2016
Welshman Bradley Dredge will take a slender one-shot lead into the final day of the Made in Denmark event in Farso, after settling for a one-over-par third round of 72 on Saturday.
The 43-year-old led by three overnight from Swede Joakim Lagergren, but slipped back towards the chasing pack with a bogey on the 18th green and is now atop the leaderboard on 12 under par overall.
Thomas Pieters, who is hoping to earn a wildcard pick for the Ryder Cup from European captain Darren Clarke, is only one stroke adrift in a tie for second place with American David Lipsky and Spaniard Adrian Otaegui.
Lagergren, playing alongside Dredge, also took a five on the par-four last and is two behind in fifth place.
Dredge, who briefly lost his tour card in 2012 and is without a European Tour title since 2006, started solidly before a birdie at the par-five 11th strengthened his position, but a double bogey at the next hole put a spanner in the works.
Despite a third birdie of the day at 14, the bogey on his 54th hole of the week leaves the tournament wide open going into Sunday's final round.
But Dredge will be confident of converting this chance into a victory, having finished sixth and second in the two previous editions of this event.
The competition at the Himmerland Golf Resort is the last with points available in the chase for automatic places for Clarke's team to play in the Ryder Cup matches that start at Hazeltine next month.
But it is Belgian Pieters who is impressing most, despite finishing second in the Czech Masters last week when he needed to defend the title to stay in automatic contention.
Instead there will be plenty of calls for the 24-year-old to be given a captain's pick by Northern Irishman Clarke, after another impressive display so far in Scandinavia.
He could yet claim a fourth European Tour title, after a two-under-par 69 saw him into that trio tied for second.
Two-time major champion Martin Kaymer made the biggest move on Saturday.
The German signed for a five-under-par 66 to launch himself to within four strokes of Dredge at eight under overall.
Round 2 - Bradley Dredge vaults three clear
August 27, 2016
Welshman Bradley Dredge, looking to end a 10-year title drought on the European Tour, played superb golf in tough conditions to move three strokes clear after the second round of the Made in Denmark tournament in Farso on Friday.
Dredge followed his opening 63 with a five-under-par 66 on a challenging day of strong winds at Himmerland Golf and Spa Resort to post a 13-under total of 129.
Swede Joakim Lagergren (70) was in second spot, with Belgium's Thomas Pieters (71) and South African Richard Sterne (67) a further shot back at nine-under.
Dredge, a double winner on the European Tour who has not tasted victory since the 2006 European Masters, reeled off five birdies on his front nine to surge to the top of the leaderboard.
Though he ran up his only bogey of the day at the par-four 13th, the 43-year-old rebounded with a birdie at the 14th before parring his last four holes to remain three strokes clear.
"You come to courses sometimes and it just seems to suit your eye," said Dredge who finished second at this tournament in 2014 and sixth last year.
"I'm just glad that I'm here and performing," he told reporters. "You try not to think too much about the score but I thought under 70 was going to be a good score out there today.
"It really was blowing, approach shots were tough, putting was very difficult to start with ... obviously I'm delighted with my score. I'm in good position for the weekend."
Englishman Tom Lewis, joint first-round leader with Lagergren and Pieters after opening with a course record 62, carded a 72 to finish the second round at eight-under, level with Spaniard Adrian Otaegui (66).
Round 1 - Three lead with opening 62s
August 26, 2016
England's Tom Lewis flirted with shooting the first ever 59 on the European Tour before settling for a nine-under-par 62 and a share of the first round lead at the Made in Denmark tournament in Farso on Thursday.
Lewis had got to 12 under with five holes to play and needed only pars coming in to dip under 60 but he slipped back with bogeys at the fifth (his 14th hole), eighth and ninth to finish level with Belgium's Thomas Pieters and Swede Joakim Lagergren.
"It was a good round today but a disappointing one, but how many people can get disappointed with nine under?" the 25-year-old Lewis told reporters at Himmerland Golf & Spa Resort.
"It's a tough one but everyone can tell it (a chance of a 59) was on there and unfortunately I came up just short. I hit some good putts, I hit some bad putts. A couple of good ones that missed, and a couple of bad ones that holed.
"In all it was fine," said Lewis, whose only European Tour victory came at the 2011 Portugal Masters.
The in-form Pieters served a timely reminder to Europe's Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke that he would be a worthy selection as one of the three wild-card picks to be announced by the Northern Irishman on Aug. 30.
Europe have already assembled their first nine in a group featuring Rory McIlroy, British Open winner Henrik Stenson, Olympic champion Justin Rose and cup veteran Sergio Garcia, plus five rookies including Masters winner Danny Willett.
"It was stress-free today," Pieters, 24, said after carding 10 birdies and a lone bogey. "I drove it well off the tee, hit it close and made a bunch of putts.
"I did all I could in front of Darren today. He has a lot on his mind other than golf and we will just have to wait and see. If I do win this week, it might get him thinking, but I just have tomorrow to worry about."
A twice champion on the European Tour, Pieters placed fourth at the Rio Olympics earlier this month before finishing second at last week's Czech Masters.