His dedication has paid off. He is currently No. 26 in the Official World Golf Ranking, and one of the game’s rising stars after his showing as the top point-earner for the European team at the 2016 Ryder Cup.
Cowen has coached five golfers to major championship glory, and counts the newly crowned United States Open champion Brooks Koepka among his 11 pupils who competed at Erin Hills. But Cowen saves his highest praise for Pieters, calling him “my technically most-gifted player.”
Pieters began working with Cowen at age 12 and attended the Topsportschool, a boarding school funded by the Golf Association of Flanders.
“Thomas was one of those kids that when you’d show him a shot, he’d say, ‘The next time you see me, I’ll be able to do that.’ And he usually did,” Cowen said. “He couldn’t wait to see me and show me. Most kids shy away from a challenge. Not Thomas.”
With the help of Cowen and Mike Small, his college…