Extra holes were required to separate Björn and Lee, who was the overnight leader, who struck 65 and 67 respectively on the final day. But it was the Dane who triumphed after a fine three in extra holes.
Despite the loss, Lee picked up €244,440 in prize money and moved to 55th place in the Race to Dubai standings. The former member of Team Scottish Hydro told European Tour radio he was pleased with his week’s work and said his game was going in the right direction.
“I would definitely have taken second place before the week started,” said Lee. “Even after the first round where I was level par and border cut line, so I’m delighted with my performance. The putter was pretty cold the first nine and nobody was really running away from . Thomas had made a charge early on but he didn’t really capitalise on the two par 5s and that kind of let me back in a bit. But I dug deep and managed to birdie the two par 5s myself and gave myself a chance coming down the last. I just lipped out in regulation time and Thomas made a brilliant three in the play-off.
“But, looking back, I played really well and was hitting the ball well. I gave myself a few chances and didn’t take them. That got me a bit frustrated - but nobody was running away with it, and that gave me a bit of hope.”
Looking back, I played really well and was hitting the ball well. I gave myself a few chances and didn’t take them.
The Scot has picked up almost €450,000 this season and this latest finish fires him up to third in the European Points List for Ryder Cup qualifying. This year, he says his game is better than ever.
“My game has reached another level, yeah, and over the past three years it got better and better,” he said. “We’re obviously working on the right things now. We’re all working pretty hard to get the fine points tuned in and I think we’re on the right lines. I’m really pleased with the way things are going.”
Bjorn said he had to dig deep to try and win again and come through another pressure situation, something he even admitted he has failed to do in the past.
“I had to grit my teeth for a while and I really wanted to get out and try to win a golf tournament again,” said Bjorn.
“I came in this week not playing particularly great but promised myself I’d stick to how I play this golf course.
“I did that and had two bogeys in 72 holes, which is good going around here. I felt good and I got over the line.
“It was nice to do that in a playoff. I’ve had a hard time dealing with pressure situations and there is no more pressure than that.”