Jeppe Huldahl of Denmark held off the challenge of Sweden’s Niclas Fasth and Ignacio Garrido of Spain to claim his first European Tour victory at The Celtic Manor Wales Open.
The 26-year-old fired a bogey-free final round of 67 to finish the week on nine-under-par, one ahead of his nearest rival Niclas Fasth.
Despite never having finished in the top-10 in a European Tour event, Huldahl displayed nerves of steel on the final day as the chasing pack, and Fasth in particular, threw everything they had at him.
The Swede made four birdies and an eagle to climb to nine-under through 15 holes, but back-to-back bogeys at the 16th and 17th gave Huldahl the chance to par in for victory.
“I couldn’t feel my hands on the last three holes. I knew I was doing well, but I didn’t know how well until I asked my caddie on the 18th tee.” Said Huldahl. “He told me I needed a par – and it’s nice to have a par five and have a chance to lay up. But I couldn’t put winning out of my head and it was quite emotional.”
Fasth birdied the final hole to move to eight-under-par but it was just too little to challenge the Dane at the top of the leaderboard. “I was playing pretty decent golf, a little bit of a mixed bag this week,” said Fasth.
Garrido, who was tied with Huldahl coming into the final round saw his chances disappear when he made a double bogey at the 16th hole. “It was a bit disappointing.” He said.
England’s Gary Lockerbie played an excellent final round of 65 to finish in a tie for fourth with another young Englishman Danny Willett.
The Celtic Manor Wales Open
The Celtic Manor Resort, Newport, Wales
June 4-7, purse €2,050,000, par 71
1 Jeppe Huldahl (Den) 69 71 68 67 275 €343,086
2 Niclas Fasth (Swe) 71 68 71 66 276 €228,724
3 Ignacio Garrido (Esp) 68 69 71 69 277 €128,863
T4 Gary Lockerbie (Eng) 69 70 74 65 278 €95,103
T4 Danny Willett (Eng) 73 66 72 67 278 €95,103
T6 Simon Dyson (Eng) 74 65 70 70 279 €57,844
T6 Oliver Fisher (Eng) 72 69 71 67 279 €57,844
T6 Richard Green (Aus) 68 71 71 69 279 €57,844
T6 Jeev Milkha Singh (Ind) 69 68 73 69 279 €57,844
Note: Players in bold signifies Titleist ball usage only