Thomas Pieters carded a final-round 68 to claim his fifth European Tour title at the 2021 Portugal Masters.
The big-hitting Belgian entered the finale at Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course sharing the lead with Matthieu Pavon.
Early on, it was Pavon who appeared destined for the winner’s circle, but the Frenchman found water on both homeward par-5s (Nos. 12 and 17) resulting in four dropped shots and ending any chance of victory.
Pieters finished two shots clear of Pavon and Danish pair Lucas Bjerregaard (66) and Nicolai Hojgaard (64).
The win moved Pieters back inside the top 100 on the Official World Golf Rankings and punched a ticket to the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai.
“It feels amazing,” said Pieters, who last won at the 2019 D+D Real Czech Masters. “It felt like a long time between victories but (caddie) Adam and I worked so hard and it felt like a deserved one.
“Two years is a long time. I’ve had a child in the meantime, who talks and runs around, it does feel like a long time.
“I was going into this week and next week with my back to the wall. I had nothing to lose but everything to gain. I’ve never missed the end of the Race to Dubai and really didn’t want to miss it. I didn’t care if I finished first, second or third. I just wanted to get there, but winning is amazing.”
Italy’s Nino Bertasio (67) and Englishman Matthew Jordan (66) rounded out the top-5 on 13 under
2021 Portugal Masters
Leaderboard: Top-5 Finishers
Pos-Player-To Par (Final Rd)
1. Thomas Pieters -19 (-3)
2. Nicolai Hojgaard -17 (-7)
2. Lucas Bjerregaard -17 (-5)
2. Matthieu Pavon -17 (-1)
5. Matthew Jordan -13 (-5)
5. Nino Bertasio -13 (-4)
Credits: Getty Images, European Tour Media