Pádraig Harrington racked up his third top 10 in four starts as Lucas Bjerregaard snatched the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews and another success for Danish golf.
A two-time winner of the event, the Dubliner (47) closed with a bogey-free, three-under 69 to finish tied for seventh on nine-under par at the Old Course and move up to 95th in the Race to Dubai.
Tyrrell Hatton was bidding for a third successive win in the event but after going out in four-under to lead the field by five shots, he stumbled home in 40, carding 72 to tie for second with Ryder Cup team mate Tommy Fleetwood 69 on 14-under par. Scores
Bjerregaard closed with 67 to pick up €695,760 for his second European Tour victory, leaping from 25th to tenth in the Race to Dubai standings to give Denmark another reason to celebrate following Thomas Bjorn’s Ryder Cup captaincy, Thorbjorn Olesen’s brilliant debut in Paris and their amateur team’s win in the Eisenhower Trophy at Carton House.
“This was a great day and one of the best rounds I’ve played all year,” Bjerregaard said. “I’ve played well recently and come close a few times. I’ve never been to a Ryder Cup before, but Thomas invited me down, so I went.
“I saw the team room and the locker room, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t inspired. It was amazing to see. I definitely want to make that team one day.”
Bjerregaard becomes only the second Dane to win the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship following Thorbjørn Olesen’s victory in 2015.
The pair also share the same coach, Scotsman Hugh Marr, while Bjerregaard's caddy is Jonathan Smart, who used to carry Danny Willett's bag and won the Team Championship with Willett in 2016. The Dane's first European Tour win was the Portugal Masters in 2017.
Hatton, winner in 2016 and 2017, said: “The momentum completely went after the tee shot on the 10th. I guess my putt on the last to get in the play-off sums it up, really. Just a massive gust of wind just knocks me off. I'm pretty disappointed because I had a five-shot lead at one point. It was in my hands.”
Australia’s Marcus Fraser started the day one behind Hatton but finished with a 77 to slip down the leaderboard. Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher was also in contention but his round of 75 left him eight-under par, seven adrift of Bjerregaard.
With a prize fund of US$5 million, the championship incorporates two separate competitions - an individual professional tournament for the world's leading golfers and a team event in which the professionals are paired with some of the most celebrated amateur golfers which creates a unique atmosphere.
Haotong Li and Allen Zhang became the first Chinese winners of the Alfred Dunhill Links Team Championship, closing with a 61 at the Old Course to win by a shot on 35-under
Robin Dawson and Brian O’Driscoll tied for 14th on 23-under after a closing 72. Team scores
Tway wins Safeway Open after playoff
On the PGA Tour, Kevin Tway made five straight birdies, including three in a sudden-death playoff against Ryan Moore and Brandt Snedeker, to pick up his first PGA Tour win at the age of 30 in the Safeway Open in California.
Tway and his father, eight-time PGA Tour winner Bob, become the 10th father-son duo to win on Tour.
Snedeker had a four-shot lead at the turn but came home in 39 for a 74 to tie with Tway (71) and Moore (67) on 14-under par on a day when high winds sent scores soaring.
Returning to the par-five 18th, Snedeker was eliminated when he made par to birdies but Tway and Moore both birdied the 18th at the second extra hole before Snedeker failed to match Tway’s birdie when they moved to the 10th for the third extra hole.
Phil Mickelson closed with a 72 to tie for 17th on eight-under.
West Waterford’s Seamus Power missed the cut by a shot on three-under after a brace of 71s.
Luna wins Farmfoods European Senior Masters
Spain’s Santiago Luna won the Farmfoods European Senior Masters by two shots from England’s Peter T Wilson and Austria’s Markus Brier on 10 under thanks to a closing 69 at the Forest of Arden.
Brendan McGovern tied for 14th on one-under with Des Smyth (74) tied 33rd on six over, and Eamonn Darcy (77) and Philip Walton (76) tied 50th on 17-over.