What a place we are in this week! It's my first ever visit to the island of Mauritius so I decided to travel a little earlier than normal over for the event alongside my best friend Cedric who, as mentioned previously, will be taking the place of Ryan as caddy this week!
Luckily for us, it turns out that arriving early was definitely a smart decision! We have made the most of every moment of the past few days by enjoying all the facilities that Heritage Resort has to offer! That predominantly includes a pattern of kite surfing, snorkelling, tennis, swimming, eating and sleeping! Furthermore, both Nico and Pieters are playing in the tournament this week as well so its been a really great way for us all to unwind together after a long 2019 season (and hopefully all have a great start to the 2020 season too!).
To avoid talking too much about the luxury of this place I will quickly move onto giving you some insight into the Golf Course instead! As a matter of fact, the tournament has been hosted at this venue twice before. Heritage Golf Course is situation on the Southern part of the island and features plenty of elevation change given its location so close to the mountains. Various lakes and streams run throughout the course which means that any unplanned shots will likely be severely punished! The tropical trees are sparse in number so not posing too much of a threat, but again, there is high grass and jungle to consider if you make any mistakes off the tee. The fairways are wide which will lend a natural advantage to long hitters and the greens are pretty large too.
The biggest threat to us this week will be the weather. Although we have been forecasted nothing but sunny/cloudy warm skies with little wind or rain...Mauritius is a microclimate and since we are playing very close to the shoreline, we will be exposed to any volatile weather conditions if anything unpredictable was to happen!
I have tried not to practice too intensely this week since I am still trying to wind down from the end of last season...but Tuesday's Pro Am was really useful practice and one thing I am sure of is that a low score will definitely win here this week! So fingers crossed for a hot putter over the next few days!
Off at 7.30am tomorrow morning (4.30am Belgian time!) and fair to say that Cedric is officially looking forward to the Challenge ahead of him!!
Further updates to follow....
And so my third official season on the European Tour has come to an end! I was a little disappointed not to have had a stronger Sunday on the Golf Course in Dubai but still, overall, really glad to have brought this year to a close with solid performances in those last Final Series events. There have been a lot of great things to reflect on this season...but there is undoubtedly room for improvement too. In honesty, I feel like I have been playing some of my best ever golf during the second half of this year so I'm already excited to see what next year brings!
In contemplation, it's fair to say that there have been some highs and lows throughout this season...but if I had to pick just one highlight then I think it has to be the final day of this year's Nedbank Championship! I've been spending a bit of time recently reading a book called Anti-Fragility by Nassim Nicolas Taleb (which I would thoroughly recommend to you all!). There are some really great principles in it about mental strength and dealing with adversity which have proved very useful to me, especially in the past few weeks. We all have our faults and I'll admit that I often find it hard to stay patient when I make mistakes on the course. But Sunday in South Africa will forever be a significant day for me now. In moments of huge pressure I managed not to let those mistakes defeat me, but instead, allowed the confidence in my own skills to take control. I will always be able to look back on that day and take strength from that progression.
I want to take this opportunity now to thank everybody personally for their support during this season. First and foremost to my team and coaches. To Ryan, my caddy, for always maintaining such a meticulous attitude towards his job (as well as keeping me calm out there!). To Jerome, for all his incredible advice and endless supply of espressos! To Fabien, my strength trainer, for constantly keeping me in check and being such good company on the road. As well as to Michel and Richard Vanmeerbeck, my coaches back in Brussels, who continue to have an immeasurable impact on my development. Thanks also to Excel Sports Management who offer consistent guidance on my career and work hard to make everything in my life run so smoothly.
Last but not least, thank you to every single one of my friends and family who have turned up at a tournament this year or just supported me behind a TV screen or online leaderboard! I truly appreciate the company out on Tour but you also all give me a reason to look forward to coming home.
Moving onto my sponsors and there have been some really enjoyable times getting together with everyone this year! Bank Delen hosted their annual (and perfectly organised) Corporate Days which Pieters and I have a lot of fun competing in! As usual, Callaway have been on hand with unlimited service throughout the season and I'm really grateful for all their assistance. I also thoroughly enjoy every opportunity I get to spend time with the team at Rolex out on Tour - especially visiting the incredible hospitality they host at tournaments!
Thanks to everyone at GFore for providing me with another year's worth of shoes and gloves which I honestly think might receive more positive comments from fans than my actual golf swing! You might also have noticed that I've been completely spoilt all year round by Hugo Boss with a brilliant supply of clothing to keep me looking and feeling great on the Golf Course too. Thank you to Patrick and the whole team for their generosity with this and, more importantly, being such good fun to be around too! Furthermore, it has been another great year with Alexis and everyone at Mannes as well. The support, both professionally and personally, is always appreciated and I look forward to working with you for many years to come!
And so its time to move onto 2020 and the schedule is looking pretty exciting already! Perhaps most significantly, we will all have the chance to represent our countries at both the Olympics and Ryder Cup again! Given those poignant memories from last year's World Cup Belgian victory, I can honestly say that the sense of National Pride was a feeling like no other, and to be able to play in Tokyo and Whistling Straights next year are dreams that I very much hope to fulfil!
I'll be spending a few days at home now before heading over to Mauritius at the weekend for my first event of the new season! If you look very closely on television next week, you might even notice that Ryan is taking a break and passing the bag onto one of my best friends Cedric to caddy during the tournament! Playing Mauritius will be a great opportunity to get some points on the board early, but also in such a luxurious setting, I think it will be a good time to relax and have a bit of fun too!
With all that said, I just want to finish up by saying congratulations again to Pieters and Nico for their hard earned victories in Prague and Paris this year. They are great friends and role models of mine but 2020 is now fast approaching...and I think it might finally be the time to get my own hands on a trophy!
Well, as you can imagine, it felt pretty great to wrap up the week in South Africa with a 3rd place finish and move significantly up to 41st place on the Race to Dubai Rankings! As a result of this I also had to do a last minute change to my travel plans and book a flight to Dubai in order to compete in this year's DP World Tour Championship!
For those of you who managed to watch some of the tournament on television last week, hopefully you will have noticed that my game is truly in great shape right now! I can honestly admit that I thoroughly enjoyed the feeling of being in contention at such an important event again too. My scoring on Sunday in such tense conditions started off a little shaky and I was disappointed not to have made a few of those small putts that day after feeling so confident on the greens all week. However, on the other hand, some of the birdies I made out there (on 2 and 14 most importantly!) were pivotal character testing moments for me that I will continue to take great strength from moving forward. Furthermore, I also had the privilege of playing with Louis Oosthuizen on Friday, Saturday and Sunday last week. I always enjoy walking the fairways with experienced professionals, but above and beyond this, Louis was a genuine pleasure to play with and I truly feel I have a lot to learn from the way he composes himself in critical moments on the golf course.
I think this is also a good opportunity for me to say thank you to all the people at home who were watching and rooting for me last week. I know it's technically just me and Ryan standing on the tee each day we play, but the sense of support I feel from my team as well as family and friends back home is overwhelming sometimes and I really want to express my gratitude to you all for your constant words of encouragement.
Moving onwards and after a few last minute logistic changes, we have now arrived in Dubai for the final tournament of the season and you will struggle to find a player on the European Tour who isn't a big fan of Jumeriah Golf Estates! The field has been reduced from its normal size of 60 to 50 players competing in this event which means that the points on offer have considerably increased as well. The Earth Course is in its usual incredible condition, presenting us with long wide fairways and fast undulating greens. There are also numerous bunker and water hazards to avoid...rather than any chance of finding trouble in the trees.
I have read that the conditions back in Europe are pretty frosty right now so I know I should not complain but....the weather is actually not the best here in Dubai right now either! Today we are expecting a solid six hours of thunderstorms and rain which makes practice a little difficult! We should be alright for the rest of the tournament days though with predictable sunshine being forecasted for the rest of the week!
Needless to say that I am very much looking forward to getting started tomorrow already! Unfortunately we are a team member down since it wasn't possible for my strength coach Fabien to join us at such late notice...but the rest of party are out in full force and ready for one last push up those rankings in order to hopefully finish higher than last year's 31st position on the Final Rankings!
Off at 9.20am tomorrow morning playing with Guido Migliozzi. Let's get this thing going!!
Firstly want to thank the promoters for an incredibly organised tournament in Turkey last week. Obviously disappointed with my play over the weekend since I was in a good position after the first two days...but still, it’s hard not to walk away from an event like that and feel too negative because it was a real pleasure to participate in and I keep accumulating some amazing memories!
Onto this week and we have travelled all the way over to South Africa for the next instalment of the Final Series - The Nedbank Golf Challenge. To be honest, I am a big fan of every event hosted in South Africa …but there is an extra special vibe about Sun City and I am really enjoying being back here!
Day one of the tournament is already under our belts and it definitely constitutes a solid start! Really happy with that little first round 66 in some testing conditions with the breeze continuing to pick up and drop throughout the day. The course is by no means a walk in the park this week and furthermore, the heat is consistently intense out here so hydration and recovery are key factors we have to keep in mind.
Tee times have officially been released for tomorrow so I’ll be off the 1st tee at 10.50am alongside Guido Migliozzi & home favourite Louis Oosthuizen! Now, time for some rest before the battle continues in the morning! Further updates to follow!
Last but not least, some of you might remember but this is the course that is engulfed within Pilanesberg National Park so whilst concentrating on playing, you also need to keep your eyes peeled for some pretty dangerous animals roaming around! As a matter of fact, on Pro Am Day a Black Mamba was seen slithering its way across one of the fairways!
Arrived safely in Antalya for the first event of this year's Final Series and although it is a different course to last time, it's undoubtedly another great venue for us to be playing at! To establish my current situation moving into the end of this season - at the moment I am lying 66th on the Race to Dubai. It's the Top 70 available players who compete here in Turkey, Top 60 next week in South Africa and finally the Top 50 who are eligible to play in Dubai. I am already safely confirmed to play in the tournament next week but obviously have some more work to do in order to secure my position at this year's Final Event...so fingers crossed for some good results these next two weeks and I should give myself a good chance to be there amongst the Dubai action!
The Maxx Royal Montgomerie is another amazing Resort Course on the Antalya Coast. Spectacular and consistent pine trees are a constant feature throughout the venue and there is also water running across nearly half the holes. The fairways here are pretty generous which generally means that most of the pressure will be on producing a good shot into the green to give yourself some opportunities. Furthermore there are 5 par 5's as well as a drivable par 4 on this course so there's no doubt about it...you need to be making plenty of birdies if you want to chase the win!
It might not come as a surprise that the weather forecast is looking fantastic for us here across the entire week. As a matter of fact we should be enjoying warm temperatures each day with only light breezes forecast and no rain showers either!
In hindsight I'm confident it was a good decision now to take a few weeks off before entering into this run of Final Series events. I had plenty of rest at home and feel thoroughly relaxed now and ready to get back into action! Off at 10.25am this morning and already eager to get going!
Keep tuned as more updates to follow...!
Obviously really happy to have secured my own Top 10 finish in France but the glory rightly goes to my friend Nicolas Colsaerts this week for an incredible performance in Paris!
To pull off a victory under the intense conditions and pressure he did today perfectly illustrates the strength of both his game and character and is the same reason I will continue look up to him for many years to come!
So sending a huge Congrats to the Dude and his full team for the win! To Vincent, Brian, Rachel, Jackson and all the family! Time for me to take a little break now before heading into the Final Series events. Thanks to everyone for your continued support and speak to you all soon!
First & foremost it goes without saying that I was very disappointed to finish my Italian Open adventure early least week. It's a thoroughly enjoyable tournament and my game was genuinely feeling in good shape...but the tricky layout eventually got the better of me & my attempt to fight back on Friday came a little too late to secure that much desired spot playing at the weekend.
Onwards and upwards though and we have finally returned to Paris for the year's edition of the Open de France! As you will already know, this event has taken a slightly different set up for 2019 since, not only is it no longer part of the Rolex Series, but it also appears 3 months later in the calendar (instead of occupying its regular summer spot).
To be honest, Le Golf National is probably one of the most famous courses we have on the European circuit and I have nothing but great memories from this venue! Most notably because it was the first European Tour event that I ever participated in as a Professional (and managed to secure a Top 25 finish!)...but as many of you know, it also hosted last year's victorious Ryder Cup tournament which I travelled over to in order to support Team Europe & enjoy with friends! It was a truly unbelievable atmosphere and an experience I will never forget!
To give you some insight on the course here in Paris, it's another good test from tee to green with definite pressure on producing a sharp iron game as well as avoiding any mistakes around the greens. It's a Links style course which means that the fairways are undulating and hard to hit. There are deep set bunkers and moreover, water is also in play on half of the holes...pretty tightly guarding the greens! The exposed layout this week means we will also be pretty susceptible to any weather conditions coming through. As you can imagine, the switch to Autumn for this tournament means it will be both cooler & damper making the course play longer than in previous outings. Unfortunately the weather forecast isn't looking great for us with rain and considerable wind gusts predicted throughout all four days. The low temperatures might not be too enjoyable either!
Really great to have my swing & strength coaches Michel & Fabien on site this week keeping things in check and I'll also have some family joining for the weekend so looking like a fun week ahead!
Last but not least it's worth noting that there are only 2 more regular events in this European Tour season now before the Final Series begins! I'm obviously very happy to have already secured my playing rights for next year but with only the Top 50 making it to the last event in Dubai next month, the battle continues and I am really looking forward to having a good week here in France now that the countdown truly sets in!
Off at 13.30pm tomorrow alongside Jordan Smith & Robert Karlsson. Practice complete - it's time to get going!
Back to action again this week after a short rest in Brussels following the Alfred Dunhill event! As a matter of fact I actually flew to the South of France this weekend in order to get some good pre-tournament practice in with my coach Jerome over at Vidauban GC. After those few days solid work and having finished up in Scotland with a Top 25, my game and confidence are feeling strong at the moment and I am actually really looking forward to getting out there and playing again!
We are in Italy this week at Olgiata GC which is just North of the Centre of Rome. It’s a beautiful place here which is getting compared quite a lot to Wentworth given that it is a Parkland Course that is also quite intensely tree lined. There is probably less risk of being caught in a nasty situation in these trees here but the fairways are still pretty narrow so it’s definitely preferable to avoid the rough where possible! The greens are also quite small and undulating which means that this week will be a true test from tee to green, making both length and accuracy therefore very important!
Think we are unlikely to see any extremely low scores out here though since there are some testy long par 3’s & 4’s with only a few par 5’s to take advantage of.
Couldn’t really ask for better weather here in Rome either! I know it has been pretty horrible rain back in Brussels for a while now so the light winds, warm temperatures and sunshine will be very welcomed here this week!!
It's the last Rolex Series event before the Final stretch now so definitely hoping for a good result here in Rome to secure another good push up the rankings! Practice is all complete and looking forward to getting going early at 7.40am tomorrow!
Very happy to have arrived back for the European Tour’s annual visit to the Home of Golf this week! The Old Course at St Andrews needs no introduction given that it’s drenched in golf tradition…this place is truly like no other! As a matter of fact, I took an earlier flight to arrive in Edinburgh this week after a frustrating weekend spent wishing I was playing two more rounds at Wentworth. Unfortunately it wasn’t my week in Surrey last week even though I was playing some really great golf. I’m working hard to improve my patience on the course at the moment though since its so easy to throw away shots in frustration when things don’t go your way.
That actually leads us nicely into this week since temperament is always a significant factor when we play this event. This is because each round will take close to 6 hours! For those of you who don’t already know, the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship takes on a slightly different format to the other regular events. To start with, each professional is paired up with an amateur golfer and we play as partners across three courses for the first three days (St Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns). The final round is hosted at the Old Course at St Andrews again and is reduced back to a field of just professionals which means that the pin positions tend to get a little tricker again too!
Although its not a Rolex Series event, there is still a significant prize fund this week and 13 of the World’s Top 50 are in action which means there are significant ranking points to be won at this crucial time as we start approaching the season end.
The weather forecast is looking pretty bleak for the entire week over here unfortunately! Intermittent rain is expected every day and winds of up to 10 - 15 mph will be setting in too! As you can imagine, a lot of the scoring is going to depend on the strength of the breeze. Traditionally Carnoustie plays a little tougher than the other two courses since it doesn’t have such wide fairways and open greens which means it’s always great to get allocated there on the day with the calmest weather conditions!
Three full days of solid preparation complete and now officially ready to get started! I will play the Old Course at St Andrews tomorrow, Carnoustie on Friday and finally Kingsbarns on Saturday morning. Ready to get out there and start making some birdies now!
As you will have seen, it was not the best result over in Amsterdam at the KLM Open last week but nonetheless, some really positive things to take away since I was driving the ball exceptionally well throughout the entire tournament!
Onto this week though and the test becomes slightly more challenging with the BMW PGA Championship being a Rolex Series event! Not only that, but due to its position slightly later on the schedule this year, it is definitely the strongest European Tour field there has been in a while! As a matter of fact, 20 of the Top 50 players in the World will be teeing it up at Wentworth Golf Course this week!
There is always something slightly more magical about turning up at a tournament when the venue is a permanent fixture and Wentworth Golf Club is a truly spectacular place. As you may already know, this famous Surrey Golf Club is a Parkland course which means a heavily tree lined track. Accuracy is more integral than power when you play here which means it will always be the most challenging in adverse weather conditions.
Fortunately for us this week there is a pretty favourable forecast on the cards which should allow some solid scoring opportunities! Moreover, there has been quite a bit of warm weather around these parts recently which means the course should be playing pretty firm. We only have light winds forecast across the four days and Sunday is the only day that looks like it might bring in a bit of rain…but otherwise - only sunshine in Surrey this week!
Furthermore it has been a great week over here in England already since I had the chance to spend some time with Rolex as well as Hugo Boss over the past two days who are heavily involved in this tournament. Also really great to have both my coaches Jerome & Michel on site with me as well as Fabien to keep the fitness side of things in check too!
Last but not least, it is interesting to note that this tournament this week represents the start of the 2020 Ryder Cup Qualification process now! Definitely adds an extra level of excitement to play well too!
Really looking forward to getting this week start now. Tee off at 2pm today alongside Lee Slattery and David Lipsky. Let’s get some good vibes going!
Born in Brussels on January 13th, 1993, Thomas lives in Brussels (Uccle), Belgium
Member of the Royal Golf Club of Belgium, he has played on a +6 handicap since 2013
Dream: reach the Nr. 1 spot of the O.W.G.R.
Michel Vanmeerbeek, Jérôme Theunis, Mike Small
Excel Sports Management, Vincent Borremans
Caddy: Ryan McGuigan
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|30-01-20||2-02-2020||Saudi International Powered by SBIA||Royal Greens G&CC – King Abdullah Economic City – Saudi Arabia|
|23-01-20||26-01-2020||Omega Dubai Desert Classic||Emirates GC – Dubai – UAE|
|16-01-20||19-01-2020||Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA||Abu Dhabi GC – Abu Dhabi – UAE|
|9-01-20||12-01-2020||South African Open hosted by the City of Johannesburg||Firethorn & Bushwillow – Johannesburg – South Africa|
|19-12-19||22-12-2019||Thailand Masters||Phoenix Gold G&CC – Pattaya – Thailand|
|5-12-19||8-12-2019||Afrasia Bank Mauritius Open||Rounds: 67 ⦿ To Par: -5 ⦿ Pos.: 6T||Heritage GC – Heritage Bel Ombre – Mauritius|
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