Pieters airs Genesis grievances: ‘As #34 in the world, I just couldn’t get in’

John Craven

Thomas Pieters (Photo by Luke Walker/Getty Images)

Thomas Pieters has taken to Twitter to air his disappointment at being overlooked for a start at this week’s Genesis Invitational, the third PGA Tour designated event of 2023.

The towering Belgian has enjoyed plenty of success at this week’s host venue, not only capturing the NCAA title at Riviera in 2012 but also finishing runner-up at the Genesis in 2017.

With a glut of world ranking points on offer, not to mention the bumper $20m prize pot, a start this week could provide a real springboard for the likes of Pieters, especially in a Ryder Cup year.

The DP World Tour regular would’ve hoped that the Strategic Alliance with the PGA Tour would’ve seen him safely into the field. Instead, he can only watch as the likes of fellow European star Adrian Meronk gets in on a sponsor’s exemption despite sitting 18 places behind Pieters in the Official World Golf Rankings.

“Sad to miss my favourite tournament of the year,” Pieters wrote. “Because well as #34 in world, I just couldn’t get in at @PGATour #Genesis Invitational.”

Having missed out on the top-125 in last season’s FedEx Cup standings, Pieters therefore missed out on his PGA Tour card and in turn, qualifying for this week’s event. Interestingly though, had he managed to somehow get in, Pieters would be teeing up as the 30th best player this week (according to OWGR) in the 129-man field.

Unsurprisingly, Pieters’ post was met with widespread sympathy, with many questioning the objectives of the so-called Strategic Alliance, unless of course the strategy is to exclude the DP World Tour as much as possible in favour of those in the States. If the shoe was on the other foot, you can be sure a leading PGA Tour player would be teeing up in a Rolex event on the DP World Tour, no questions asked had they expressed interest.

If the Genesis Invitational is truly an elevated event, then surely, at minimum, you want the top-50 golfers from the OWGR teeing up should they be able and willing. The fact Pieters has an appetite to play, and at a course where he’s performed better than most, raises serious questions as to the legitimacy of this supposed alliance that has so far benefitted those on the PGA Tour far more than the forgotten sons of European golf.

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