Thomas Pieters and Thomas Detry help Belgium to historic victory

Thomas Pieters and Thomas Detry put on a formidable effort in the final round foursomes to secure a comfortable victory for Belgium. Anirban Lahiri and Gaganjeet Bhullar helped India to a creditable T10

Thomas Pieters and Thomas Detry helped Belgium to a first ever victory in the World Cup of Golf

PGA TOUR Release, 25 November 2018: Anirban Lahiri and Gaganjeet Bhullar made a second straight 70 to secure a top ten finish in the World Cup of Golf. Thomas Pieters and Thomas Detry played their way into the history books as Belgium savoured a historic first victory at the ISPS HANDA Melbourne World Cup of Golf at The Metropolitan Golf Club on Sunday.

Holding a five-shot lead into the final day’s foursomes session, the former teammates at the University of Illinois held off the fast-charging Australian pair of Marc Leishman and Cameron Smith with their closing 4-under 68 which featured one eagle, six birdies and three bogeys.
“Being able to put our name down the list when you see the number of good players and all the big names that were actually on the cup, it feels pretty special,” Detry said.
Leishman and Smith, partnering for the first time in the World Cup of Golf, raised local hopes when they narrowed the lead to two strokes on the 14th hole when Smith brilliantly holed out a bunker shot for their seventh birdie of the day. The home heroes could only par home to sign for the day’s joint best of 65 as the Belgians hung on for a memorable triumph in their nation’s golf history.
“Belgium was clearly the best team all week,” Leishman said. “When you come up against someone like that, we did what we had to do today to put the pressure on and they were just too good. When you get beat by someone who’s playing that well, there’s not much you can do.”
Mexico’s Abraham Ancer, who won the Emirates Australian Open last week, and Roberto Diaz closed with a 66 to share second place with the host nation, as they delivered their country’s best showing in the World Cup of Golf, improving from the previous high of seventh position achieved in 1965.
“I’ve been playing some really solid golf coming into Australia and I just like the vibe,” Ancer said. “Everybody was super nice, had a great time. It was easy to keep playing some good golf here, I just loved it.”
Defending champions Denmark, represented by Thorbjorn Olesen and Soren Kjeldesen, put up a commendable showing, shooting a 65 to share the fourth position with Canada’s Adam Hadwin and Nick Taylor at 17-under 271.
Pieters and Detry, who ended the week on 23-under-par 265, were delighted with their historic triumph. They started nervously with a bogey on two but a wonderful eagle conversion by Detry from 25 feet on the fourth hole restored their overnight five-shot advantage.
As Australia put up a title charge, the Belgians did enough on the back nine to emerge victorious.
“I think we’ll take a lot of confidence out of this,” Pieters said. “As I said, it’s a shame the season’s over for me now. I felt like I played really good today and both of us we played really good. Sometimes we felt the guys coming, Australia coming right behind us and we answered it with a birdie, so I think we handled the situation very well.”
Cheered on by large crowds, Leishman and Smith produced a superb fightback as they enjoyed a birdie binge. But after Smith brilliantly delivered the home team’s seventh birdie from the greenside bunker, they failed to find another birdie despite some close attempts, including a short miss by Leishman on the 16th hole.
“We were seven or eight back at one stage,” Smith said. “You know, we’ve just played really solid golf the last four or five holes from Friday onwards. I don’t think we could have really asked for too much more. It was pretty solid.”
Mexico nearly raised its flag in Australia for a second time in as many weeks, with the pair of Ancer and Diaz turning in six birdies over their last 13 holes after an even-par start through five holes.
“I think we ham-and-egged it pretty well during the week,” Diaz said. “We played great. I drove it well, he did irons unbelievable the whole week. We happened to be good at the right moments.”

India finish T10 on the back of some good golf by Anirban Lahiri and Gaganjeet Bhullar

  • Anirban Lahiri and Gaganjeet Bhullar finish T10 in World Cup of Golf
    Anirban Lahiri and Gaganjeet Bhullar finish T10 in World Cup of Golf

    Team India of Anirban Lahiri and Gaganjeet Bhullar nailed five birdies against three bogeys for their closing round of 70.

  • They hold a combined total of 16 victories on the Asian Tour, which includes three co-sanctioned wins on the European Tour.
  • Lahiri, now a regular player on the PGA Tour, is a two-time International team member of the Presidents Cup. He is also the Asian Tour Order of Merit champion in 2015.
  • Lahiri, 31, and Bhullar, 30, have represented India together in numerous team competitions since their amateur days. They featured in the Eisenhower Cup, Nomura Cup and Asian Games, delivering a team silver in 2006, before venturing almost at the same time into the play-for-pay ranks where they also represented Team Asia in the inaugural EurAsia Cup in 2013.
  • Arjun Atwal and Jyoti Randhawa’s ninth-place finish in Portugal in 2005 remains India’s best result in the prestigious event.

Gaganjeet Bhullar (Ind)

Anirban’s our star man today, he was full of energy. I mean, I was, too, I thought so, but he woke me up on the sixth hole and I think before that I was kind of lazy, a lot of lazy swings. But thanks to Anirban, he was the one who was helping the scores. 

Other than that, I think pretty disappointed with our finish although things started to get better on the back nine.  I had a few good shots and Anirban, of course, holed a lot of good putts.

It was just towards the end there that we were expecting a few more birdies. I mean, it happens in this kind of format, it’s not easy.

Anirban Lahiri (Ind)

If I were to sum it up, it’s been a bad weekend. I think we played really well Thursday, Friday without a doubt, a lot of positives there. Yesterday really was the day that both of us played quite poorly, and yesterday was the day that we kind of got ourselves out of contention. The effort was there. 

Today we both came out and we wanted to go low. The golf course is set up for scoring, quite different from Friday. But sometimes in foursomes, you know, if you’re not both on top of your A?game, you’re not going to shoot those really low scores. 

I think we both really enjoyed ourselves.  We gelled together really well.  We were talking about it, it’s been maybe four or five years since the Eurasia Cup that we teamed last time, so it was a good reunion.  I think we enjoyed ourselves. 

Definitely feel like we let it get away from us on the weekend. We should have at least been in there with an outside chance today and we weren’t, so that’s where the disappointment is.

I’m going to go home for a couple of weeks and I’ll play the Indonesian Masters. I’m looking forward to, you know, coming back and playing on the Asian Tour. It’s been a long time. That will be my last event of the year.

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