Fighting Illini men’s golf alumni Thomas Detry and Thomas Pieters will once again represent their native Belgium when the duo tees off later this month at the Tokyo Olympic Games.
The International Golf Federation (IGF) released the final list of 60 entries for the men’s competition on Tuesday (July 6), which included Detry and Pieters who qualified based on their Official World Golf Rankings.
It marks the second consecutive Olympics for Pieters and the first for Detry. Pieters narrowly missed the medal stand with a fourth-place finish at the 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Detry previously teamed up with Pieters to win the 2018 World Cup of Golf championship for Belgium.
During their time competing for the Fighting Illini, both golfers left their mark as two of the top competitors in program history, and were key to the Illinois’ NCAA National Championship runner-up finish in 2013, their lone season together in Orange & Blue.
Pieters, from Nijlen, Belgium, won the 2012 NCAA Individual Championship, one of three collegiate tournament victories. His win at the 2013 Big Ten Championship cemented his status as the league’s Player of the Year that season. He helped the Illini to three Big Ten team titles, and finished his collegiate career as a two-time All-Big Ten performer, a two-time All-Midwest Region selection, and was honored as a first-team All-American in 2012 and an honorable mention All-American in 2013.
Detry, from Brussels, Belgium, also helped Illinois capture three Big Ten Championships, and was named the 2013 Big Ten Freshman of the Year and 2015 Big Ten Player of the Year. He won Big Ten Medalist honors as a senior in 2016, one of his five collegiate victories. During the course of his Illini career, he was selected as a four-time first-team All-Big Ten performer, a four-time All-Midwest Region selection, and was a second-team All-American in 2015 and 2016, and an honorable mention All-American in 2014.
The men’s golf event at the Tokyo games, a 72-hole individual stroke play format, is scheduled to tee off beginning July 29 and will run through August 1. It will be played at Kasumigaseki Country Club, a private course in Saitama, Japan, approximately 40 miles from Tokyo. Kasumigaseki Country Club was founded in 1929, and has played host to several professional and amateur tournaments, including the 1957 Golf World Cup.