With a workmanlike final-round 72, Thomas Pieters claimed his maiden Rolex Series title at the 2022 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.
Pieters, who entered the finale at Yas Link tied for the lead alongside Scott Jamieson, grabbed the front, and never looked back, when the Scot bogeyed the first. After a birdie before the turn, Pieters lead had ballooned to three.
A costly bogey on the par-5 11th hole cut his lead back to one, and after Rafa Cabrera Bello made birdie on No. 14 it was tied up. But while Spaniard dropped back-to-back shots on 15 and 16, Pieters kept his cool to finish on 10 under, one clear of Cabrera Bello (70) and India’s Shubhankar Sharma (71) and two ahead of Frenchman Victor Dubuisson (69) and Norwegian Viktor Hovland (72).
“Winning a Rolex Series, it’s as good as it gets in Europe,” he said. “Hopefully this lists me, I’m not sure where, but I want to play all of the big tournaments and hopefully this gets me close.
“Top-50 is your strive point and when I jumped out maybe three years ago, I took it badly, but I’m happy to be back again.
“I feel like I’ve turned the corner and I’m playing really good golf. I’m really in control of my ball flight and it’s nice to feel like that and making putts as well. My putting has improved massively and I felt like that’s the thing that really kept me going on the weekend.”
Englishman Tyrrell Hatton (67) was among a foursome at 7 under, alongside Dane Jeff Winther (70), and countrymen James Morrison (72) and Ian Poulter (72).
Jamieson (77) and Aussie Adam Scott (72) rounded out the top-10 finishers in Dubai at 6 under.
Pieters becomes the first Belgian to win a Rolex Series event and claims his sixth European Tour title.
The victory also sends him back into the top 50 on the Official World Golf Ranking, all the way up to No. 31 – his best position since the 2017 season.