Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen held firm to win the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews by two shots from American duo Brooks Koepka and Chris Stroud.
Thorbjorn Olesen took a three shot lead into the final round of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on the Old Course St Andrews, but he swiftly gave those shots back to the field with a double bogey at the second and a bogey on the third.
The tournament was wide open at that stage, but Olesen struck back brilliantly with birdies at the 4th and 5th holes. He played steady golf from that point with nine straight pars before a crucial birdie at the 15th. He parred the last three holes to pick up his third European Tour title.
“On these three golf courses and finishing off especially on St Andrews is a great feeling.” Olesen said. “It’s been a very tough season for me, and I would like to give a special thanks to my coaches, family and friends, and anyone who has been there.
Brooks Koepka fired a closing round of 67 to end the week in a tie for second place with his fellow American Chris Stroud.
4 talking points from the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship
1 – It was a welcome return to form for talented Dane Thorbjorn Olesen. He was out of action for three months following surgery on his hand earlier this year. He’s struggled to find his best game since then and had earned less than €200,000 for the season coming into this tournament. He picked up a cheque for €700,000 for this, his first win since the 2014 ISPS HANDA Perth International and is now exempt on the European Tour to the end of 2017. He has climbed into the top-75 on the Official World Golf Ranking.
Thorbjorn Olesen swing sequence:
2 – Americans Chris Stroud and Brooks Koepka performed well to finish in a tie for second. Stroud was delighted with his showing. “I would take that score on any tournament, so at the original place of golf, right here in the Home of Golf, this is pretty special.”
Koepka on the other hand was disappointed that he came up just short. “The conditions were pretty tough, so 67 was fine. Just not quite good enough,” he said. “It’s a difficult course when the wind blows, especially in this direction. Overall I played pretty well but just came up a little bit short.”
3 – It was an important tournament for Sweden’s Joakim Lagergren. The 23-year-old carded a final round of 69 to finish the week in a tie for fourth place and pick up €155,005. That cheque moved him comfortably inside the top 110 on the Race to Dubai and secured his card for next season. This will be the first season since he turned pro in 2010 that he won’t need to take a trip to Q school.
4 – It was a good week for new professionals and 2015 Walker Cup stars Jimmy Mullen and Paul Dunne. Mullen had led after two rounds and, although he faded somewhat on the weekend, he finished in a tie for 30th and earned €36,542. Dunne finished on 12-under (two shots better than Mullen) and he picked up €47,536.
Alfred Dunhill Links Championship
Old Course St Andrews, Carnoustie & Kingsbarns
1 Thorbjorn Olesen (Den) 68 66 65 71 270 €708,171
T2 Brooks Koepka (USA) 72 69 64 67 272 €369,050
T2 Chris Stroud (USA) 68 66 70 68 272 €369,050
T4 Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Tha) 75 63 66 69 273 €155,005
T4 Benjamin Hebert (Fra) 69 67 67 70 273 €155,005
T4 Joakim Lagergren (Swe) 71 71 62 69 273 €155,005
T4 Bernd Wiesberger (Aut) 70 68 69 66 273 €155,005
T4 Chris Wood (Eng) 71 72 65 65 273 €155,005
T9 Stewart Cink (USA) 73 65 69 67 274 €82,856
T9 David Drysdale (Sco) 68 72 66 68 274 €82,856
T9 David Horsey (Eng) 72 70 64 68 274 €82,856
T9 Soren Kjeldsen (Den) 65 72 69 68 274 €82,856
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage