Irish Open playoff victory for Kjeldsen

Denmark's Soren Kjeldsen won the Irish Open at Royal County Down

Soren Kjeldsen wins Irish Open
Soren Kjeldsen wins Irish Open
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Denmark’s Soren Kjeldsen birdied the first hole of a sudden-death playoff to defeat Eddie Pepperell of England and Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger and win the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation.

Denmark’s Soren Kjeldsen birdied the first hole of a sudden-death playoff to defeat Eddie Pepperell of England and Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger and win the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation.

In extremely testing conditions on the final day at Royal County Down, Kjeldsen saw his two-shot 54-hole lead evaporate within two holes, as he opened with a pair of bogeys.

It was a battle for survival around the challenging Northern Irish links and only four players shot under-par rounds on the final day. One of those to do so was England’s Eddie Pepperell. He produced a superb 68 to set a clubhouse total of two-under-par.

That number was matched by Bernd Wiesberger who posted a 73 to also end the week on two-under-par. At that stage, Kjeldsen had two holes to play and he held a one-stroke advantage at the top of the leaderboard.

But the 40-year-old three-putted on the 17th for a bogey and then only narrowly made a par at the home hole to make it a three-way playoff for the title.

The three remaining protagonists then returned to the par-5 18th to settle the event over extra holes. Kjeldsen played the hole well with a drive down the middle and a second shot to the putting surface. Both Wiesberger and Pepperell took less conventional routes. In the end, Pepperell was left with a birdie chip, which didn’t drop, and Wiesberger was unable to hole his birdie effort from the back of the green.

Having played a reasonable approach putt, Kjeldsen then faced a putt for a birdie and the win. He watched on anxiously as it rattled around the hole, but it eventually dropped. It was Kjeldsen’s fourth European Tour victory, but his first since the 2009 Open de Andalucia.

Although disappointed to miss out on victory, Pepperell could console himself with the fact his second place finish earned him a place in The Open Championship at St Andrews in July. Kjeldsen and Tyrrell Hatton of England took the other two places available.

Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation Royal County Down Golf Club, Newcastle, Northern Ireland May 28-31 Purse: €2,500,000, par 71

1    Soren Kjeldsen (Den)    69    70    67    76    282    €416,660 T2    Eddie Pepperell (Eng)    74    72    67    69    282    €217,135 T2    Bernd Wiesberger (Aut) 72    67    70    73    282    €217,135 T4    Rafa Cabrera-Bello (Esp) 71    68    69    75    283    €115,500 T4    Tyrrell Hatton (Eng)    73    66    70    74    283    €115,500 T6    Andy Sullivan (Eng)    74    70    69    71    284    €81,250 T6    Danny Willett (Eng)    69    76    71    68    284    €81,250 T8    Matthew Fitzpatrick (Eng) 71    72    70    72    285    €59,250 T8    Maximilian Kieffer (Ger) 67    76    65    77    285    €59,250

Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage

Fergus Bisset
Fergus Bisset

Fergus is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and it was concentrated by 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 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?