Karlsson seals play-off victory at the Dunhill Links Championship

Robert Karlsson wins the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in thrilling style after a three-man playoff while Dustin Johnson secures a life-changing victory in the Turning Stone Resort Championship.

Karlsson Dunhill

European Tour Alfred Dunhill Links Championship St Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns, Scotland Oct 2-5, purse 3,284,691, par 72

Robert Karlsson has moved to the top of the European Tour Order of Merit after recording his second victory of the year at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

The 38-year-old fired a final round of 65 around the Old Course at St Andrews to post a 72-hole total of 10-under-par. That matched the score already recorded by England s Ross Fisher and the pair had to wait to see if Martin Kaymer could better their efforts.

The young German got to 11-under with a birdie at the 16th but he fell foul of the notorious Road Hole taking three putts from short of the green for a bogey five. It meant he needed a birdie at the 18th hole to win outright. He gave himself a good chance on the final green but narrowly missed from eight feet.

So a three-way playoff was required and Karlsson, Kaymer and Fisher made their way back to the first tee. Fisher immediately took himself out of the equation by driving into the Swilken Burn. Karlsson, with a fairway wood, played into perfect position then Kaymer followed suit with a long iron. The German s approach finished ten feet beyond the cup then Karlsson fired in a superb wedge to just three feet.

As at the 18th, Kaymer s birdie effort just missed and Karlsson tapped in to secure the win, a cheque for 546,000 and top position in the race for the Harry Vardon Trophy.

I played a bad round yesterday and all of a sudden got myself into the play-off and made a birdie on the first hole and was like, oh, that was quick. He said. It was a nice day out there.

Speaking about the race for the Order of Merit, Karlsson was keen to praise Padraig Harrington s efforts in 2008. "Obviously that's a bonus, but when I'm playing out here, you're just trying to do your best in each event. He said. But Padraig has won two majors already, so it's not down to who is the best player this year.

Kaymer, whose amateur partner was his older brother Philip, was quick to take the positives from his performance. I think still overall it was a really good week for me. I m pleased. He said. Second place, you know I was really close to winning the tournament and it gives me a lot of pleasure.

1 Robert Karlsson (Swe) 67 70 76 65 278 545,811 T2 Ross Fisher (Eng) 64 76 73 65 278 284,439 T2 Martin Kaymer (Ger) 65 72 73 68 278 284,439 4 Jarmo Sandelin (Swe) 66 72 72 70 280 163,743 T5 Jose-Filipe Lima (Por) 67 71 75 68 281 117,240 T5 Anthony Wall (Eng) 66 76 71 68 281 117,240 T5 Magnus A Carlsson (Swe) 70 68 73 70 281 117,240 T8 Jamie Donaldson (Wal) 70 70 75 67 282 67,461 T8 Rory McIlroy (NIR) 68 69 78 67 282 67,461 T8 Paul Casey (Eng) 72 70 72 68 282 67,461 T8 Soren Hansen (Den) 64 73 77 68 282 67,461 T8 Lee Westwood (Eng) 68 70 76 68 282 67,461

Note: Players in bold signifies Titleist ball usage.

PGA Tour Turning Stone Resort Championship Atunyote Golf Club at Turning Stone, New York Oct 2-5, purse $6,000,000, par 72

Long hitting rookie Dustin Johnson secured a life-changing win in a closely contested Turning Stone Resort Championship in New York. The 24-year-old birdied the final two holes to win by one from veteran Australian Robert Allenby.

The competition went right down to the wire and a host of players were in with a chance of victory down the stretch. In fact, 21 players finished within five shots of Johnson.

But, it was the young rookie who holed a clutch eight-foot putt on the final green to take the title and catapult himself from 128th to 41st on the PGA Tour money list.

"It's kind of hard to explain. I haven't grasped everything yet." Said Johnson. I'm obviously very, very excited. Hopefully, it'll hit me a little bit later. I'll probably have to sit down and re-evaluate my goals."

Allenby would have won the competition comfortably had it not been for his lacklustre putting. "I left everything short," he said. Yesterday, I probably had the worst putting round of my life. I just lost my nerve with the putter. I tried to regain it, took the putter home last night and slept with it. All you can do is just give it your best."

Charles Howell III led the competition after three rounds but a poor final round of 73 saw him fall back into a tie for third with six other players. Howell has held or shared the 54-hole lead four times in his career and is yet to win.

Davis Love III who is on the road to recover from ankle surgery, also finished tied for third and, had it not been for lip outs at the fourth and 13th, he would have tied Johnson at nine-under.

Johnson who missed nine cuts in a row earlier this season and looked destined to lose his Tour Card can now breathe easily. With this win he s secured his playing rights on the PGA Tour for next season.

1 Dustin Johnson (USA) 72 68 70 69 279 $1,080,000 2 Robert Allenby (Aus) 71 68 71 70 280 $648,000 T3 Steve Allan (Aus) 68 74 70 69 281 $244,714 T3 Woody Austin (USA) 74 69 69 69 281 $244,714 T3 Matthew Goggin (Aus) 71 70 71 69 281 $244,714 T3 Ryuji Imada (Jap) 72 71 69 69 281 $244,714 T3 Robert Garrigus (USA) 72 72 68 69 281 $244,714 T3 Charles Howell III (USA) 71 68 69 73 281 $244,714 T3 Davis Love III (USA) 75 70 66 70 281 $244,714 T10 Nick O Hern (Aus) 71 72 71 68 282 $138,000 T10 Joe Ogilvie (USA) 75 69 68 70 282 $138,000 T10 Jeff Overton (USA) 67 69 73 73 282 $138,000 T10 Pat Perez (USA) 71 72 69 70 282 $138,000 T10 Charles Warren (USA) 73 71 67 71 282 $138,000

Note: Players 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?