This choice was a no-brainer. Pieters at No. 29 in the world and No. 11 in the Race to Dubai rankings, Pieters is the cream of the crop this week in both categories.
Add to the fact that Pieters won the Czech Masters in 2015 and it’s hard to choose anyone else for the No. 1 slot.
Pieters has dipped with missed cuts at the PGA Championship and last week at the Made in Denmark, though his fourth-place finish at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational is still fresh.
After splitting time between continents for most of 2017, the 25-year-old Belgian could do well with a Europe-heavy schedule to round out the year.
Pieters defended his title beautifully last year, grabbing the early lead with opening 67s only to be edged out by one by Paul Peterson.
The University of Illinois grad doesn’t always know where his driver is going (202nd in accuracy), but he continues to mash it (13th in distance). At 29th in scrambling and 24th in putting, Pieters should be able to survive if he doesn’t tear up Albatross in the way he’s grown accustomed.
I like Pieters to find the winner’s circle just a modest train ride away from his native Belgium. If he wins, perhaps his brother will have another trick up his sleeve to cash in:
Who do you think will make their next big move in the Race to Dubai?