Thomas Pieters carded a gutsy 68 to win the Portugal Masters after a dramatic afternoon at Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course.
The big-hitting Belgian entered the day in a share of the lead with Frenchman Matthieu Pavon and the duo played out an enthralling battle right to the last in Vilamoura.
Pavon was in cruise control over the first 11 holes but found water three times on the way home in a 70 and Pieters took advantage.
The 29-year-old finished at 19 under, two shots clear of Pavon and Danish pair Lucas Bjerregaard and Nicolai Hojgaard, who finished with rounds of 69 and 65 respectively.
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Hojgaard shared the lead in the closing stages as he carded the lowest round of the day but bogeyed the last, while 2017 champion Bjerregaard birdied the 18th to ensure he moves into the top 100 on the Race to Dubai Rankings and secures his card for 2022.
Pieters had no concerns over his playing privileges but made certain he will play at the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, for the seventh consecutive season.
He had been a picture of consistency coming into this week, with 12 made cuts from 15 events on the 2021 Race to Dubai but his best finish had been a tie for ninth.
He claims his first win since the 2019 D+D Real Cazech Masters and moves back into the top 100 on the Official World Golf Ranking in the process.
“It feels amazing,” he said. “It felt like a long time between victories but [caddie] Adam and I worked so hard and it felt like a deserved one.
“I was kind of struggling a bit with my swing, I wasn’t really trusting it the way I did the first three days, I was kind of busy with that in my mind at not really the scores – I had a peek at some of the boards and saw we were up there maybe leading by one.
“It ping-ponged back and forth so I was happy to come out with a two-shot lead.”
– Report from europeantour.com