Born on 13th January 1993, in Brussels, Belgium…I was five years old when I picked up my first golf club! Growing up, I was a big fan of a whole range of sports though so I split most of my childhood years between the driving range, tennis court and field hockey pitch. It was only around 11 or 12 years old that I really started to take my golf game seriously!
A couple of years further down the line and I made the decision to pack my bags and leave Belgium in order to study and immerse myself in College Golf at the University of Illinois! I spent four of the most amazing years of my life in the US - playing in a multitude of amateur golf events under the watchful eye of our incredible coach Mike Small.
Amongst a whole host of other enjoyable events and memories, the highlights have to be winning the Big Ten Golfer of the year in 2015 as well as taking home the trophy at the Big Ten Championship the following year!
Having completed four years at College and earning my Batchelor degree in Entrepreneurship, I returned to Europe in order to continue my golfing dream and therefore took the decision to turn professional in June 2016.
"I returned to Europe in order to continue my golfing dream and therefore took the decision to turn pro in June 2016"
I managed to secure some playing opportunities in the form of invites on the Challenge Tour and really took advantage of those chances! Recording a Top 5 finish at my first event - the KPMG Trophy on national soil in Belgium...closely followed by a runner up second position the following week at the Najeti Open in France!
Fast forward a few months and it was at Heythrop Park in Oxford, England, that I finally managed to seal my first professional victory at the Bridgestone Classic! It was a real added bonus that I also made some Challenge Tour history that week by finishing with a 12 shot winning margin too!
“I made some Challenge Tour history that week by finishing with a 12 shot winning margin too!”
The win at Bridgestone combined with a couple of other solid finishes throughout my 2016 season resulted in me finishing 15th on the Challenge Tour Order of Merit that year. As a result of this, in the space of five months, I had done enough to secure full playing rights for the European Tour in 2017! It was a dream come true.
As a matter of fact, at my first official event of the new season (the Alfred Dunhill Championship in South Africa) I got off to a brilliant start and managed to finish the tournament in 3rd place.
However, looking back, the highlight of my first year out on Tour definitely came at the BMW International event in Germany later in the summer. I had my first experience of being in contention on a Sunday on the Main Stage as well as that inital taste of how it feels to chase a much coveted European Tour title in front of a huge spectator crowd! It was an adventure that has now become an addiction to try to replicate each week I play!
One of the best memories of my professional career so far has been the entire experience surrounding the 2018 World Cup. It was by finishing 3rd at the KLM Open earlier that year (the exact same week that the qualification process finished), that I secured my place to represent Team Belgium at the incredible event hosted in Australia, and both myself and Thomas Pieters could not have been more excited to participate together.
There are very few opportunities in this sport where you get the chance to represent your country before yourself as an individual, but to win and become a World Champion with your best friend by your side made it truly unforgettable. My friendship with both Pieters and fellow Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts has been a major asset to me from the moment I set foot in the golfing arena and each week we tee it up, we continue to do what we can to make everyone back home in Belgium proud!
“To win and become a World Champion with your best friend by your side made it truly unforgettable”
With every week that passes and every new destination that I travel to I have accumulated some amazing memories over the years. Aside from all the official tournaments and Corporate Days I have participated in, one of the best experience’s that’s definitely worth highlighting is when I competed for a Guinness World Record in Spain in the summer of 2019! Paul Dunne, Sean Crocker, Guido Migliozzi and myself were invited to compete in a challenge to complete the 'Fastest Hole of Golf by an individual’...with the previous record having been set at 1 minute 33 seconds in the exact same location. It was a test of skill, fitness and stamina but after just one attempt, in 1 minute and 29 seconds I successfully managed to get my ball from the tee into the hole and established my position as the new Guinness World Record Holder and declared ‘officially amazing!’.’
“I have more appreciation now than ever for the fact that nothing I have achieved would have been possible without the help of my amazing sponsors, team, family and friends”
I had the chance during lockdown to really pause and reflect on my circumstances and just how lucky I am to do what I do. I have more appreciation now than ever for the fact that nothing I have achieved would have been possible without the help of my amazing sponsors, team, family and friends. It’s one man with a golf club in his hands standing on the tee each week but a whole support team of people behind the scenes who make it possible for me to be contend. The roles that each of these people assume in my life are crucial...and I am very grateful to them all!.
Despite the global restrictions, I am doing my best to make the most of 2020 and to continue making progress. This year I happily welcomed my first appearance at a Major Championship - the US Open at Winged Foot as well as breaking into the Top 100 on the OWGR.
The incredible experiences continue...
- Bridgestone Challenge 1st
- KPMG Trophy 6th
- Najeti Open 2nd
- Kazakhstan 9th
- Open Foshan Open 6th
- Alfred Dunhill Champs 3rd
- BMW International 2nd
- Paul Lawrie Match Play 9th
- Hong Kong Open 10th
- Abu Dhabi Champs 9th
- Belgian Knockout 3rd
- Made in Denmark 7th
- KLM Open 3rd
- Turkish Airlines Open 3rd
- Nedbank Golf Challenge 7th
- World Cup of Golf 1st
- Trophy Hassan II 9th
- Andalucia Masters 8th
- French Open Nedbank 8th
- Golf Challenge 3rd
- Afrasia Mauritius Open 4th
- Saudi International 6th
- Austrian Open 8th
- Hero Open 2nd
- Celtic Classic 2nd
- Cyprus Open 10th