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Thomas Pieters would be happy to link up with Rory McIlroy again in future

By Phil Casey

Published 06/10/2016

Big lesson: Thomas Pieters learned from Rory McIlroy at the Ryder Cup
Big lesson: Thomas Pieters learned from Rory McIlroy at the Ryder Cup

Thomas Pieters reckons he is ready to form a long-term partnership with Rory McIlroy after his Ryder Cup debut.

"That's fine with me," the three-time European Tour winner said as he met the media before this weekend's Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

"It's Rory McIlroy. He's the best player in the world. When he says, 'I want you on my team for the next 20 years', I just say, 'okay'."

As well as learning from his first battle with the Americans, which ended in defeat, Pieters made sure to glean as much as he could from the time he spent on the course with Ulsterman McIlroy.

The 24-year-old said: "Rory seems to make all the putts when he needs to. That's what I've learned. I don't know how he does it but I have to try and do that as well.

"Rory's like a machine. Obviously it's matchplay and you're going to take on more risks than you do in other tournaments.

"Us playing together actually worked out nicely. We both hit it well, we both played very aggressive and I think we both believed in our abilities so that if one of us hit a bad shot to a tight pin, the other would pull it off. That's how it turned out."

Meanwhile, Danny Willett has revealed his parents and wife were targeted by rowdy Ryder Cup fans.

The Masters champion was picked out for abuse at Hazeltine after his brother Pete wrote a scathing article criticising the behaviour of American crowds.

"You've got 150-200,000 fans there that love watching golf. Unfortunately you've got the odd one or two that don't actually go there to watch the golf, which is a shame," said Willett.

"I don't think you should be walking around playing golf while people are saying things to your parents and wife. I don't think that's our sport, that's not what we play for.

"That happened and it put a bit of a downer on what was supposed to be my first good experience of the Ryder Cup."

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