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Thomas Pieters has broken his silence on his defection to LIV Golf, revealing he had been planning it since last summer.

Speaking to The Telegraph’s James Corrigan, the Belgian explained that the wheels of his move to the Saudi-funded golf league only started turning last week after Hudson Swafford was ruled out for the season through injury.

“I had a call on Thursday not even a week ago, asking if I wanted Hudson’s spot,” Pieters told Corrigan.

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“To be truthful, in my heart, I decided last summer that I wanted to join LIV. But it was not until a few days ago I got the opportunity.

“You don’t wish ill on anyone and I hope Hudson gets recovered soon, but as a professional you have to grasp chances when they arise.”

Pieters, who has described the events of the past week as a ‘whirlwind’, added that he had shared his decision with DP World Tour chief executive Keith Pelley and European Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald.

The world No.34 had been heavily tipped to make his second Ryder Cup appearance in this year’s match in Rome. However, that now hangs in the balance following his LIV move, with an arbitration panel set to rule on DP World Tour sanctions in the coming weeks.

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“I swapped texts with Luke, but he is in a tough position isn’t he,” Thomas said. “It was a difficult decision for me, for sure. The Ryder Cup has always been an ambition and it was a dream to play in 2016. I’ve been trying to get back ever since.

“I haven’t given up on playing in it again, including this year even. We will have to see.”

Pieters will make his LIV Golf debut when the league’s second season gets under way in Mexico tomorrow.

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Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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