Thomas Pieters and Thomas Detry are really good golfers with beautiful swings so I was delighted to see them claim the World Cup of Golf for Belgium in Melbourne on Sunday.
Pieters is a bit of a puzzle. Having announced himself on the European Tour with a couple of wins in the second half of 2015, he has now gone two years without another individual title.
The 26-year-old has so much talent so I don’t know why he hasn’t won more. Maybe it’s a case of trying too hard.
Detry is still waiting for his first European Tour win but people have been talking about him for a while now and he has magnificent technique.
The 25-year-old has gone close in some recent events, including a share of third place at the Turkish Open three weeks ago, so hopefully this can open the floodgates for him.
Winning the World Cup of Golf is a magnificent achievement for the pair of them – the closest I got was finishing runner-up with Sandy Lyle in 1987 to Ian Woosnam and David Llewellyn – and a first for Belgium.
Both Pieters and Detry have the games to be up there with the best so they are ones to watch in 2019.
Rai off to a flyer
The last European Tour season was a landmark one for English golf, with 14 of the 47 tournaments being won by Englishmen, and the new campaign began in the same vein in Hong Kong where Aaron Rai held off compatriot Matt Fitzpatrick to win his first title at that level on Sunday.
It’s a huge step for the 23-year-old from Wolverhampton, who has worked his way up from the EuroPro Tour and Challenge Tour – where he won three times in 2017 – and will give him so much belief for the next stage of his career.
Golf tends to go in cycles and its England’s time to have an amazing crop of young players coming through, such as Matt Wallace and Eddie Pepperell. Rai’s name can now be added to that list.
It’s a case of success breeding success. When they see their peers winning titles it will give them belief and make them think: “If they can do it, so can I.”
Tiger vs Phil not for me
My favourite aspect of Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson’s match came in the days leading up to it.
When asked whether he would try to get into Mickelson’s head during Friday’s contest, Woods replied: “I’ve been in Phil’s head for 20-odd years.” I loved that.
The rest of it wasn’t for me. I’m old school – what’s wrong with good golf? I don’t think you need to spruce it up.
Unless it’s a match play event with a field of 128, golf isn’t a head-to-head sport. And if this had been Tiger and Phil in their prime, then maybe it would be different, but it isn’t.
I’m in favour of innovations like interviewing players on each round, as the European Tour is doing. But two guys playing for $9m? In my view it’s vulgar.