Nearly carded a 59 at the 2014 Portugal Masters, narrowly missing a 15ft birdie putt on the last hole of the first round. A few weeks earlier he had made the headlines after recording the longest drive on the European Tour, a 447-yard monster on the 18th hole at the Celtic Manor Resort, venue of the ISPS HANDA Wales Open. The man known as the ‘Belgian Bomber’ produced one of the best Ryder Cup debuts in history when, in partnership with Lee Westwood in the Friday fourballs at Medinah, he carded eight birdies and an eagle to defeat Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker. Had been selected as one of José María Olazábal’s wildcards after some impressive performances that year, including victory in the Volvo World Match Play Championship and second place in the Volvo China Open, a fine defence of the title he won a year earlier. Began to fulfil his potential in 2009, having started the season without a category on the European Challenge Tour, when he made his long-awaited breakthrough at the SK Golf Challenge in Finland. Later added the Dutch Futures, where he romped home by four shots. Those two victories, plus a further eight top ten finishes, meant he ended the year in third place in the Challenge Tour Rankings and climbed to 127th in the Official World Golf Ranking, having started the year outside the top 1,000. Turned professional in November 2000 on his 18th birthday, three days before the start of the European Tour Qualifying School Final Stage in Spain. Successfully negotiated all three stages and won the fifth card, becoming the then third youngest player to achieve the feat. Comes from a sporting family as his great grandfather represented Belgium at basketball and water polo at the 1920 Olympic Games.