This is not the way you want to begin your march towards Hazeltine and your first-ever Ryder Cup experience if you are Thomas Pieters. One of European captain Darren Clarke’s three captain’s picks, Pieters has pulled out of the KLM Open because of, get this, a bee sting.
“The very unfortunate worst case scenario just happened,” Pieters wrote on Twitter on Thursday. “One bee sting on Monday during the golf challenge against Joost Luiten, led to a major allergic reaction with flu symptoms and forced me to pull out of my favorite tournament of the year, the KLM Open.
“Very sorry to all the fans that are on their way to support me and to the organization TIG Sports. I owe it to you guys to defend my title next year. Lots of other very talented guys to follow around the course this week …”
Pieters won the KLM Open last year (one of his three European titles in the last 12 months) but won’t have the chance to defend. The other issue is whether Pieters can keep riding the momentum he has into the Ryder Cup. He will likely only have one more event until Hazeltine, and it won’t be on the PGA Tour like many of his teammates are playing (the BMW Championship and Tour Championship).
The European squad will be testy at this year’s Ryder Cup (because they always are), but there are question marks this year that there have not existed before. Pieters is one of them, and he’s also one of an insane six Ryder Cup rookies who will take on Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson and the rest of the American team at the end of September.
Source: CBS Sports Headlines / Bee sting forces European Ryder Cup golfer to pull out of tournament