Pieters Hoping To Maintain Momentum At PIF Saudi International powered by SoftBank Investment Advisers

31 Jan 2022

The Belgian is keen to capitalise on his early season success as the world's best golfers head to Saudi Arabia.

Thomas Pieters of Belgium is excited to test himself against a strong field of the best players at Saudi International powered by SoftBank Investment Advisers. (Photo by Andrew Redington/WME IMG/WME IMG via Getty Images )

The eyes of the golfing world turn to Saudi Arabia this week as the biggest names in the sport tee up in the 2022 PIF Saudi International powered by SoftBank Investment Advisers. The strongest field in the history of the Asian Tour will include players from no less than 32 countries and the likes of two-time and defending Saudi International champion Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Xander Schauffele, Cameron Smith, Phil Mickelson and Abraham Ancer. Also among the stellar cast is Thomas Pieters, who recently moved back into the world top-50 with victory in the 2022 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship – his sixth triumph on the DP World Tour.

The Belgian, who turned 30 last week, is keen to build on his early-season success with a top performance at Royal Greens Golf and Country Club, near Jeddah, February 3-6. As well as his recent fine form, he can draw additional confidence from top-10 displays on this week’s course, including a tied-third finish in 2020. On his first visit in 2019 he recorded a seven-under-par round of 63, so Royal Greens is a lay-out that clearly suits his eye.

Pieters said: “It definitely gives me confidence to play well early in the season and I’ll be looking to carry that forward in Saudi. Royal Greens is a great set-up and a challenging test as the wind often gets up in the afternoon, which requires great control of the golf ball. But it’s also a place you can get on a roll and shoot low if you drive it well. I have good memories from playing in Saudi. It’s a course that suits me and I’m looking forward to teeing it up there.

“It’s a very strong field with good world ranking points on offer, so lots to play for and I just need to keep this momentum going. You always want to test yourself against the best players so it’s exciting to compete against such a strong field.”

Another player who will be full of confidence at Royal Greens this week is Cameron Smith. In firing 34-under-par to win the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii in early January, the Australian ace set a new record for the lowest-ever score for a four-round tournament on the PGA Tour.

Intrigue in this event, rich in Official World Golf Ranking points, is further enhanced by the presence of the leading golfers from the Asian Tour. The top-30 players on its Order of Merit at the end of the latest season – which concluded in Singapore earlier this year – secured a spot at the 2022 Saudi International powered by SoftBank Investment Advisers. Exciting prospect Joohyung Kim finished at the summit and the 19-year-old Korean will be hoping to further boost his rapidly-growing reputation with a strong showing among international competition this week.

Also in the field are two talented Saudi amateur golfers Faisal Salhab and Saud Sharif. There is a spot in the line-up too for Thai teen sensation Ratchanon Chantananuwat. The 14-year-old showcased his immense ability with a tied-third finish in the Singapore International in mid-January.

For more information about the PIF Saudi International powered by SoftBank Investment Advisers, visit
www.saudiinternational.com