Pieters counts Ryder Cup experience 32

Thomas Pieters feels Ryder Cup outing is crucial experience for future majors. Thomas Pieters believes competing in major championships will now be “a lot easier” after dealing with pressure moments in Europe’s Ryder Cup defeat.

The Belgian rookie, 24, won four of his five matches as Europe lost 17-11 to the USA, three of his wins coming alongside playing partner Rory McIlroy.

“Rory will tell you it’s nothing like the majors,” said Pieters. “The Ryder Cup is the most nervous he’s been.

“I took a lot of confidence I learned I can play in that environment.” Pieters, a three-time winner on the European Tour, added: “Coming down the stretch in a major is going to seem easy after this.”

This week, Pieters will compete at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, a pro-am tournament held over three courses – the Old Course at St Andrews, the Championship Course at Carnoustie and Kingsbarns Golf Links.

Five other players who took part as Europe lost the Ryder Cup for the first time since 2008 are also in the field for the event, which begins on Thursday.