Pieters set to rock European Ryder Cup selection process in joining LIV Golf

Bernie McGuire

Thomas Pieters (Photo by Luke Walker/Getty Images)

Bernie McGuire

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The make-up of this year’s European Ryder Cup team is in for another jolt as it’s been widely reported that Belgium’s Thomas Pieters is to be confirmed on Monday as joining the ranks of LIV Golf.

Pieters, 31, will be joined in LIV competition by New Zealander Danny Lee and American Brendan Steele, with the news being first reported by handicap54.golf and now being confirmed by other sources.

As well, LIV Golf will be formally announcing Mito Pereira and Sebastian Munoz to join Chilean Joaquin Niemann in an all South American side.

As far as Europe is concerned, Pieters’ move will come as yet another blow with the current World No. 34 being a past European Ryder team player and a member of last month’s winning Continental European team at the inaugural Hero Cup in Abu Dhabi. As well, Pieters has seven pro victories to his career, six of those on the DP World Tour including the 2021 Portugal Masters and last year’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship titles.

News that the new father could be moving to LIV may explain why he was overlooked for an invitation to tee-up in this week’s Genesis Invitational with Pieters being very vocal in saying in a tweet:  “Sad to miss my favourite tournament of the year. Because well as #34 in world, I just couldn’t get in @PGATOUR #GenesisInvitational.”

And while Pieters may have been overlooked for the Genesis, Steele withdrew two days ahead of the $US20m event for reasons not cited.

So, does someone know something we don’t know?

The 39-year-old Steele is currently ranked 122nd in the world, has won three times on the PGA Tour, including the back-to-back Safeway Open titles in 2016 and 2017.  They were his last taste of success though he lost out in a play-off to Aussie Cameron Smith at the 2022 Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii. Nonetheless, Steele has still carved-out a decent career earning over $US 20m from close to 300 appearances on the PGA Tour.

Lee, now aged 32, created golfing history when he became the youngest ever winner of the U.S. Amateur in August 2008, aged 18 years and one month, six months younger than Tiger Woods when he won in 1994. His age record was broken the following year by 17-year-old  An Byeong-hun.

Despite a long time competing on the PGA Tour, Lee has just the one win to his credit and that being the 2015 Greenbrier Classic and securing success in a four-man playoff.

He’s currently ranked 259th in the world, made 303 starts on the PGA Tour and collected more than $15 million in earnings.

And in contrast to both Pieters and Steele, Lee contested this week’s Genesis Invitational but missed the cut with a 36-hole total of 3-over.

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One response to “Pieters set to rock European Ryder Cup selection process in joining LIV Golf”

  1. Brendan O NEILL avatar
    Brendan O NEILL

    Greed’ has no limits.

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