It was the London-based Swede’s first victory since 1990 and he did it in style, finishing on 21-under-par 267, and three shots ahead of Matthew Goggin of Australia, who returned 67, and Ricardo Gonzalez of Argentina, the Kenya Open champion, who had a closing 68.
Lindgren last tasted victory in the 1990 Scandinavian Tipo Trophy in Finland. Since then he has come close yet never managed to step up to the top rung. But it all came good at Albarella, some 40 miles south of Venice. “It’s been a long while,” he said. “I was due a win because I’ve been close on a lot of occasions and if you hang in there sooner or later it will be your turn.”
The 31-year-old went into the tournament on the back of two missed cuts having finished no worse than fifth in two starts in Africa during March. But in a week of ultra low-scoring where only four of the 51-strong field finished over par, Lindgren shot the lowest of all, an opening 69 preceding his hatrick of 66s.
a Swedish victory was almost pre-ordained. Mats Lanner led after a first round 63, Paul Nilbrink took over on day two and martin Erlandsson headed Lindgren by one going into the final day. But on the first hole the roles were reversed as playing partner Erlandsson bogeyed and Lindgren collected the first of his six birdies.
He was out in 33 and never headed. “I felt I was in the lead but I didn’t want to know,” said Lindgren. “But after I hit my tee shot on the 18th I asked a friend how I was doing and he said I was three ahead.
“That made me confident but I didn’t want to make the same mistake I made in the opening tournament of the season in the Ivory Coast. I was leading by three going into the final round and felt if I could get to eight under that would be enough. I got there with six holes left but then I lost concentration and finished three behind John Mellor.” That was a salutary lesson but this time Lindgren stayed focused to carry off the top prize.
Gary Clark, who was the best placed Briton all week was rewarded with joint fourth place on 271 with two more Swedes, Per Nyman and Nilbrink while Massimo Scarpa, the winner in Rimini, and David A Russell, playing his first Challenge Tour event of the season, were among those on 273.