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Pieters Czechs Off Victory

Golf - Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship - Abu Dhabi Golf Club, United Arab Emirates - 18/1/15 Thomas Pieters of Belgium during the final round Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Paul Childs EDITORIAL USE ONLY.

Who won

Thomas Pieters held off Pelle Edberg to claim his first European Tour title, the D+D Real Czech Masters in Prague on Sunday. The 23-year-old Belgian recovered from a double bogey on his front nine to card a 69 at Albatross Golf Resort and finish at 20-under-par 264, three shots clear of Sweden’s Edberg.

Who didn’t win

Edberg (closing 71) opened with back-to-back birdies in the final round but couldn’t make anything happen down the stretch. After roaring from the gates Sunday with four consecutive birdies, England’s Matt Fitzpatrick played even-par golf the rest of the way; hampered by bogeys at Nos. 15 and 16, the 2013 U.S. Amateur champion shot 68 and finished four back at 16 under. Another Englishman, Robert Dinwiddie, shot 70 and finished fourth, two shots further back. 

How it happened

Spain’s Eduardo de la Riva holed his approach to the 18th for an eagle to shoot 65 and seize a share of the first-round lead with playing partner Renato Paratore, the 18-year-old Italian sensation. Fitzpatrick and Edberg shot 67s to take the midway lead at 11 under, while Pieters led at 17 under through 54 holes after a third-round 65 that included a two-stroke penalty for playing the wrong ball on the 11th hole. Edberg took the early final-round lead after Pieters double-bogeyed the third while Fitzpatrick reasserted himself into the mix. Pieters recovered midway through the round and clinched the title with birdies at Nos. 13 and 18.


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