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Denmark's Thomas Björn made a return to the winner's circle, storming to a five shot victory over Richard Green in the Estoril Open de Portugal at Penha Longa.
The Dane had slipped outside the top 200 on the Official World Golf Ranking and had missed six straight cuts prior to last week's Celtic Manor Wales Open. But, a top-10 finish in Newport hinted at a return to form and that trend continued as the two-time Ryder Cup player successfully came through Open Championship International Final Qualifying at Sunningdale on Monday.
Björn came into this week full of confidence as a result and that showed as he negotiated the Penha Longa course in four superb rounds of 67, 65, 65 and 68.
Björn's closing round was particularly impressive given the incredibly windy conditions faced by the players on the final day. During the round, Australian left-hander Green whittled Björn's lead back to just one shot after 12 holes. But things swung back in Björn's favour over the next couple of holes and his lead stretched to five. It was a relatively straightforward run to the line for the Dane, who claimed his first European Tour victory in four years.
With the win he moved into the top 40 on the Race to Dubai Rankings.
Another Dane, Mark Haastrup finished the week alone in third, two ahead of the ever-consistent Robert Rock. Ireland's Damien McGrane suffered a collapse over the closing holes to drop back from 18-under-par to just 13-under-par, good enough for fifth spot.
Estoril Open de Portugal Penha Longa Golf Club, Portugal June 10-13, purse €1,000,000, par 72
1 Thomas Björn (Den) 67 65 65 68 265 €166,660 2 Richard Green (Aus) 67 69 64 70 270 €111,110 3 Mark Haastrup (Den) 67 68 70 67 272 €62,600 4 Robert Rock (Eng) 68 67 68 71 274 €50,000 5 Damien McGrane (Ire) 67 70 68 73 275 €42,400 T6 Darren Clarke (NIR) 75 67 68 66 276 €32,500 T6 Robert Coles (Eng) 68 66 69 73 276 €32,500 T8 Gary Lockerbie (Eng) 69 69 71 68 277 €22,460 T8 Steve Webster (Eng) 67 67 70 73 277 €22,460 T8 Daniel Vancsik (Arg) 69 66 68 74 277 €22,460
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage only
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?
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