Photos from Day 3 of the 2012 NCAA Men's Golf Championship at Riviera CC. Illini Thomas Pieters won the national title.
2012-13: Became a professional golfer following the NCAA Championships ... Honorable mention All-American by PING and Golfweek ... Finished tied for 16th at the NCAA Championships with a 3-under-par 207 during the stroke-play portion ... Clinched Illinois' win against No. 1 California in the NCAA semifinal match on June 1 by beating 2013 NCAA individual champion Max Homa on the second playoff hole ... Won Illinois' only match in the championship against Alabama on June 2, defeating Justin Thomas 1-up ... Tied for 10th at the NCAA Fayetteville Regional ... 2013 Big Ten individual champion ... Led the team in stroke average at 71.38 and rounds under par with 16 ... His 71.38 stroke average ranks fourth in school history and his 72.35 career stroke average ranks second ... Has eight top-10 finishes in 11 tournaments ... Was named Big Ten Golfer of the Week twice (March 6, March 27) ... Shot a career-best 54-hole score of 202 to finish fourth at the Western Refining All-America Golf Classic in November, including a career low-tying 6-under 65 in the final round ... Also placed in the top 10 at the Desert Shootout (third), Boilermaker Invitational (fourth), Louisiana Classics (fifth), D.A. Weibring Invitational (ninth) and Wolf Run Invitational (sixth) ... Ben Hogan Award Watch List ... Represented his native Belgium at the World Amateur Team Championships along with Illini teammate Thomas Detry ... Competed in two fall tournaments with the Illini.
2011-12: Became the 2012 NCAA individual champion, the second Illini to win a national title in school history and joining Scott Langley (2010) as the second national champion from Illinois in the past three years ... Fired a 54-hole total of 5-under 208 (69-68-71) at the par-71 Riviera Country Club and finished three strokes ahead of the field at the NCAA Championships ... First-team All-Big Ten selection ... Ranked second on the Illini in stroke average (71.64), which is sixth-best in school history ... Was the team's top finisher at seven of 12 tournaments ... Finished second at the NCAA Norman Regional with a 54-hole total of 210 (-6), one stroke back of the winner ... Named to the All-Championship team at the Big Ten Championships after tying for fifth ... Placed in the top 11 at 10 events, including his first career title at the Jack Nicklaus Invitational with a 54-hole score of 209 (-7) ... Posted 16 rounds under par, which was the second-most for the Illini ... Fired a career-best round of 6-under four times ... Turned in a career-low 54-hole total of 206 (-10) at the Barona Collegiate Cup ... Twice named Big Ten Golfer of the Week - on Oct. 12 following his first victory in Columbus and on April 5 after carding a 207 (-9) to lead the Illini to their best scoring event of the season (-18) at the Augusta State Invitational ... Earned the runner-up spot at the D.A. Weibring Invitational for the second year in a row, tallying a 54-hole score of 207 (-6) ... Played for the victorious European team in the 2012 Palmer Cup and was the first-ever Belgian selected ... Selected to the Ben Hogan Award Watch List at the start of season.
2010-11: Was in the line-up in every event ... Tied for 20th at the NCAA Championship ... Tied his career high with a 70 in the third round ... Won his match in the NCAA Quarterfinal, defeating T.J. Mitchell of Georgia, 2 up ... Tied for 10th at the Big Ten Championship ... Tied for second at the D.A. Weibring Invitational after back-to-back rounds of 71 ... Posted his first career collegiate sub-par round with a first round 70 at the NCAA Regional ... Represented Belgium at the World Amateur Team Championships in Buenos Aries, Argentina.
Participated in a number of international events, including the British Boys and the European Championships ... Placed ninth at the European Individual Championship in Spain ... Member of Millenium Golf ... Won the title at the Grand Prix AFG at Rigenee (shooting a 219 over 54 holes, including a 68 in round two) ... Won the Junior Tour stop at the Royal Antwerp Golf Club ... In 2009, won titles at the at the Ternesse Junior Open and the International Juniors Open (where he fired a career-low 67 in the second round) ... Played on first Beligian team to win the European Team Junior Championship in Turkey ... Placed 16th at the Irish Amateur Championship ... Placed 8th at the 2009 Orange Bowl Junior Championship, finishing at seven-under par ... Placed third in the Doral Junior Classic in Miami in `09 ... Coached by Bart Bollen.
Born Jan 27, 1992 in Geel, Belgium ... Majoring in recreation, sport and tourism with a concentration in sport management ... Enjoys basketball and tennis.
Getting to Know Thomas Pieters
Favorite course: Whispering Pines Golf Club ... Favorite club: Lob wedge ... Favorite athletes: Rodger Federer and Derrick Rose ... Favorite movie: 500 Days of Summer ... Favorite TV shows: Friends and The Office ... Favorite food: Pasta and chicken ... Favorite restaurant: Biaggi's ... Longest drive: 400 yards ... Most memorable putt: Final putt at the Jack Nicklaus Invitational - 14 feet downhill left to right for birdie which in the end gave me the win ... My dream foursome: Chris DeForest, Tiger Woods and Henrik Stenson ... Actor I would want to play me in a movie about my life: Bradley Cooper ... Cartoon character that best describes me: Zorro ... If I weren't a golfer, I would play: Tennis ... One thing I can't go a day without: My watch ... One thing I've always dreamt about doing: Fly an F16 ... Three words that describe me are: Quiet, Determined, Tall
What's in the bag?
Driver: Titleist D3 10.5°
Irons: Titleist mb 712
Putter: Bettinardi Comstum
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x