• Recovered from a nervy start to win by two shots from Koepka & Stroud
• Paul Dunne and Jimmy Mullen enjoy good starts to pro careers
Thorbjorn Olesen recovered from an early setback to claim his third European Tour title at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
The Dane entered the final round three shots clear of German Florian Fritsch and after birdieing the first hole to get to 18-under-par, he followed it up with a double-bogey and bogey to drop back into the pack
But nearest rivals Fritsch and Benjamin Hebert weren’t able to really get their rounds going themselves and after holing a wonder putt on the 15th green, Olesen, who finished runner-up in St Andrews four years ago, held on to win by two shots from American duo Brooks Koepka and Chris Stroud.
"It's been a very tough season for me" - Thorbjorn Olesen
“Standing here with this trophy is unbelievable,” said Thorbjorn Olesen. “Definitely more personal and very emotional. It's been a very tough season for me and I would like to give special thanks to everyone who has been there for me.”
“Finishing off at St Andrews is a great feeling. I kept believing I would be back here again. It was nice this week just to play three great rounds of golf, then hold it together in the last round. I kept being patient out there, kept trying to make fours and give myself chances for birdie. It was nice to get that one in on the 15th. I had a few good chances before that, so that was a big relief.”
The win secures Olesen’s place on the European Tour until 2017 and moves him into the top 75 in the world and into the top 25 in the Race to Dubai.
It was a special moment too for surfing legend Kelly Slater, Olesen’s partner in the Team Championship, who for the second time had the pleasure of walking the 18th hole with the winner. Six years ago, he partnered Simon Dyson when he won.
“I’ve now played twice in this competition and twice I’ve been partnered with the professional winner,” said Slater. “It’s amazing. In 2009 with Simon it was a great experience. But I think this one was better because it was great to see Thorbjorn come through to win – and also because of my own birdie three on the 18th green. That was a wonderful putt for me to make.”
Walker Cup-winning duo Jimmy Mullen and Paul Dunne enjoyed fantastic starts to their professional careers and despite both faltering over the weekend – Mullen was tied for the lead and Dunne in a share of third after two rounds – the Englishman collected £27,010 for finishing T30 while Irishman Dunne picked up £35,125 for coming T19.
The Team Championship was won by former Bayern Munich and Chelsea footballer Michael Ballack and German professional Florian Fritsch.
Thorbjorn Olesen :: Can he push on?
Can the young Dane build on his victory at the Dunhill Links and make himself one of the European Tour's household names? Leave your thoughts in the 'Comments' section below.