Thomas Pieters was one of the stars of the European Ryder Cup team. In his first appearance on the team, the 24-year-old Pieters went an impressive 4-1-0. He, along with Rory McIlroy, provided plenty of spark and entertained the crowd.
Don’t expect to see the long driving Pieters on the PGA Tour regularly any time soon though. Pieters, who attended the University of Illinois where he won the NCAA Championship in 2012, his second year on the team, apparently doesn’t care for Americans. According to Pieters’ fellow countryman Nicolas Colsaerts, Pieters wouldn’t enjoy being surrounded by Americans 365 days a year.
Via ESPN UK:
“We have talked about it a little bit,” said the 24-year-old’s friend Nicolas Colsaerts, another Belgian and the world No.124. “I don’t think he would want to be surrounded by Americans 365 days a year.
“People think that because he went to the U.S. that he only wants to play the PGA Tour, but he has shown at the Ryder Cup, with his shushing of the crowd [last Saturday] and the way he plays, that he doesn’t like them that much.
“The years he was there were with [Illinois head coach] Mike Small were very precious and played an important role in his career.
“But I don’t see him moving there and playing any time soon. He is happy living in Antwerp, where he has a life.”
For all of it’s good, the Ryder Cup does present a few problems. Fans become very boisterous and shout unfriendly and inappropriate things towards many players. Some times this is done in jest like teasing Rory McIlroy about his relationship with Caroline Wozniacki, and sometimes it goes too far.
I’d like to reinforce to Pieters that American crowds aren’t like this at every PGA Tour event. If he were to bring his skills to the PGA Tour, he would be welcomed and cheered. We like to see great and impressive golf, and Pieters is capable of that.
On Thursday during the Alfred Dunhill Championship on the European Tour, Pieters bombed a drive 407 yards. The drive rolled up through the group ahead of him and onto the green.
Huge. @Thomas_Pieters just drove the 407 yard 7th hole.
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) October 6, 2016
If you do that on the PGA Tour, everyone in attendance will cheer you on and follow you because they want to see what kind of other ridiculous things you can do.
UPDATE: Pieters took to twitter to refute Colsaerts comments claiming that he does indeed love Americans.