Sweden’s Alex Noren won a playoff against Scott Hend of Australia to claim his second Omega European Masters title and his second European Tour victory of 2016.
Alex Noren began the final round at Crans-sur-Sierre one behind Scott Hend but he drew level with a birdie at the first hole on Sunday. The pair remained tied through the first six holes but Noren then pressed on with birdies at the 7th and 8th holes to move two clear.
Hend got back within one with a birdie on the 15th hole and, after Noren three-putted on the 17th, the pair were tied atop the board with just one to play.
The Australian’s tee shot on the 72nd hole went into the trees and he was fortunate with his second to bounce over the water and run through the back of the putting surface. Noren played a good drive but his second was a disappointing one, coming up 30 feet from the cup.
Hend played a fine chip to secure his par and Noren two-putted for his four. They finished tied on 17-under-par and returned to the 18th tee to settle the tournament over extra holes.
On the first hole of the sudden-death playoff, Hend’s tee shot hit the trees again, and that left him a long second. Noren, as in regulation play, struck a fine tee shot down the fairway. Hend’s second narrowly cleared the water while Noren played safely to the middle of the green. Hend chipped up to within eight feet of the cup but he was denied a chance at the par effort when Noren rolled his birdie putt home to claim the title.
3 Talking points from the Omega European Masters
1 – Alex Noren won his first European Tour title in this event back in 2009. This was his sixth win on the circuit and his second of 2016 following the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Castle Stuart. The Swede has climbed into the top-10 on the Race to Dubai standings and should move into the top-30 on the Official World Golf Ranking.
Alex Noren - fairway bunker tips:
2 – There were good final rounds from European Ryder Cup team members. Lee Westwood posted a closing 63 to move up into 4th place. Matthew Fitzpatrick completed a fine recovery from a poor first round with a 64 on Sunday to climb into a tie for 7th. Danny Willett also closed with a 64 to finish in the top 15. Those performances should give the Englishmen great confidence in the build up to Hazeltine.
3 – Andrew “Beef” Johnston produced an excellent finish to move up into third place. He played his final 10 holes in six-under-par, coming home in 30 for a 65.
Omega European Masters Crans-sur-Sierre GC, Crans Montana, Switzerland Sep 1-4 Purse €2,700,000, par 70
1 Alex Noren (Swe) 69 63 66 65 263 €450,000 2 Scott Hend (Aus) 65 67 65 66 263 €300,000 3 Andrew Johnston (Eng) 65 68 68 65 266 €169,020 4 Lee Westwood (Eng) 72 66 67 63 268 €135,000 T5 Richard Bland (Eng) 67 64 69 69 269 €104,490 T5 Julien Quesne (Fra) 65 68 71 65 269 €104,490 T7 Matthew Fitzpatrick (Eng) 75 65 66 64 270 €62,532 T7 Florian Fritsch (Ger) 67 69 66 68 270 €62,532 T7 Romain Langasque (Fra) 68 63 70 69 270 €62,532 T7 Pablo Larrazabal (Esp) 71 68 66 65 270 €62,532 T7 Renato Paratore (Ita) 75 63 67 65 270 €62,532
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage
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Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly.
Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?
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