Damien McGrane is still in the “relegation zone” on the European Tour. Picture: Christer Ellnemark / www.golffile.ieDamien McGrane notched his best result for more than two months when he claimed 16th place behind runaway winner Alex Noren in the wind-blasted Nordea Masters near Stockholm.

The Kells professional added €19,470 to his Race to Dubai account to move up to 102nd in the money list entering the latter half of what is proving to be a taxing season.

It was McGrane’s second best finish on tour this year following his share of ninth behind Darren Clarke in the Iberdrola Open in Mallorca in mid-May.

And while he managed to move up just nine spots in the Race to Dubai standings, his closing 76 in taxing conditions was enough to see him climb six place up the leaderboard and head to the Irish Open with a positive result under his belt.

Despite a double bogey five at the island green 17th, McGrane finished on level par for the tournament, just three shots behind world No 7 Dustin Johnson, who tied for fourth.

Victory inevitably went to home hero Noren, who led by 11 strokes with a round to play thanks to his third round 63 and still won by seven from former Irish Open champion Richard Finch (his 69 was the best score of the day by three strokes) despite a final round 77.

After signing off with a birdie at the last, Noren said: “I am so relieved. The only thing I thought of all day was the 17th. I said it doesn’t matter how I play up to that, I just have to survive 17 and I did.

“I’ve never seen wind like this in Sweden. Every hole was super tough and even downwind it was hard to choose the clubs.”