Dunhill Links: Olesen holds off the Americans

Thorbjorn Olesen of Denmark won the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship

Thorbjorn Olesen wins Dunhill Links Championship
Thorbjorn Olesen wins Dunhill Links Championship
(Image credit: Getty Images)

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 Oct 1-4 Purse: €4,000,000

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

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

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?