Swedish star Alex Noren chalked up his third European Tour victory of the season at the British Masters on Sunday, as he held off the challenge of Bernd Wiesberger on a dramatic final day at the Grove in Chandlers Cross, Hertfordshire.
Noren came into the final day of action three shots clear at the top of the field, and despite a topsy-turvy day, a two-under 69 was enough for him to seal the title on 18 under par and take home a cheque for £500,000.
The 34-year-old, who finished on 18 under for the tournament, won the Scottish Open in July and September’s European Masters, adding to four previous victories on the tour.
Here’s a look at the final leaderboard from the Grove, together with the prize money payouts for the week:
|British Masters 2016 Leaderboard|
|Pos.||Golfer||To Par||Round 4|
|British Masters 2016 Prize Money|
Noren came into Sunday’s play as the overwhelming favourite to take home the title. Three shots clear of the field and playing excellent golf, the Swede had looked unstoppable going into Day 4.
And after the first few holes, the prophecy looked to be coming true. With birdies on the first and second holes, Noren moved into an even more commanding lead at the top.
However, cracks started to show as he approached the turn. He dropped a shot on the eighth, which brought the likes of Lee Westwood, Richard Bland, Wiesberger and Tommy Fleetwood into contention.
In fact, the latter duo were taking dead aim at the pins and trying to close the gap at the top—never more so than on the tricky eighth, via European Tour:
Noren’s chasing pack got within one of his lead after he bogeyed the 11th, and an errand tee shot on the 12th brought about the possibility of a collapse.
However, the Swede responded with a remarkable recovery shot to keep his head above water:
Wiesberger then moved into a tie for first place after more excellent golf, but Noren just about wiggled clear of the Austrian thanks to a birdie on the 15th:
The pair parred both 16 and 17, which left the par-five 18th to decide the championship.
Wiesberger, playing in the group ahead of Noren on 16 under, found the bunker with his second shot and could only splash out to 30 feet from the hole. His resulting putt was too high, as he was forced to settle for a par.
Noren, sitting on 17 under on the 18th tee, needed just a par to secure the trophy, but after two perfect shots just short of the green on the par five, he sensed the chance for a final flourish.
The Swede perfectly judged his chip and set up an easy tap-in for birdie, winning the tournament by two shots:
Just three events remain on the European Tour schedule, starting with next week’s Turkish Airlines Open in Antalya.
Noren will come into the tournament on a serious hot streak and looking for his eighth European title in all. And the way he played at the Grove, you’d be brave to bet against him.