Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen captured his maiden European Challenge Tour title after a one under par 70 in the final round of The Princess left him two shots clear of Austrian Bernd Wiesberger and Swede Peter Gustafsson.
Olesen, 20, playing his first full season on the Challenge Tour, took a three shot lead into the final day and held off the challenge of his rivals with three birdies and two bogeys to add to rounds of 69, 66 and 65 at Båstad Golf Club in southern Sweden.
Wiesberger and Gustafsson closed with 67 and 68 respectively but it was not enough to overhaul Olesen, while Oscar Floren, in second place going into the final round, slipped to a three over par 74 which left him joint ninth.
At one stage Gustafsson moved to within a shot of Olesen, but the Dane gave himself some breathing space with birdies at the eighth and 11th. A bogey at the par five 14th cut his lead to two shots, but none of his challengers could capitalise over the final few holes.
“It’s amazing,” said Olesen. “There was a bit of pressure on the last couple of holes so I’m glad to have done it. I had a good lead but it’s easy to lose a couple of shots on this course so you have to make sure you hit good shots and keep your concentration.
“I felt a bit nervous this morning but it was not too bad. I feel very comfortable out here.”
Floren chipped in for birdie on the first hole, and when Olesen was asked whether he thought he was in for a battle, he replied: “Yeah, I thought maybe he was going to have a round like Meitinger (Nicolas, who shot an 11 under par 60 in the second round). But you just have to stick to your own game and keep trying to make putts.
“I had a stupid bogey on the 14th when I hit a bad drive and a stupid third shot, and I couldn’t get it up and down. It did make things a little tighter for the last few holes but in the end it was okay.
"I had a good caddie who did a wonderful job. It's the first time he has caddied for me but I will definitely be keeping him"
After coming so close in the Mugello Tuscany Open in May, when he lost to Floris De Vries in a play-off, Olesen was delighted to have got over the line this time.
“It feels great,” he said. “Last time (in Tuscany) was such a narrow defeat losing in a play-off at the third extra hole so it was nice this time to have a comfortable win here.
“I’m only 20 so there’s plenty of time and hopefully there will be many more wins to come.”
Gustafsson said: “I couldn’t really get it going on the back nine and had a lot of luck to make par on some of the holes. But I’m pleased to have finished tied second.”
Two more Swedes, Klas Eriksson and Joel Sjoholm, shared fourth place on nine under.
A total of €3,800 was raised during the tournament for the anti-bullying charity ‘Friends’ through players landing their ball on the tenth green. Each time a player hit the green, the sponsor of the tournament, Swedbank, donated €10.
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