Sunday, 02 November 2008

In becoming the first Swedish player to win The European Tour Order of Merit – and the Harry Vardon Trophy – Robert Karlsson has cemented his place in golf’s history books.

Karlsson’s quite amazing season, in which he won twice – at the Mercedes-Benz Championship and the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship – saw him elevate his game to a new level.

 Not only did his level of consistency border on the frightening, but he proved he is undoubtedly one of the world’s finest players with top eight finishes in three of the four Major Championships as well as a box-office performance at The Ryder Cup in America.

Those stunning results, coupled with a further seven top tens throughout the year helped the 38 year old amass €2,732,749 in European Tour prize money – enough to finish ahead of double Major Champion Padraig Harrington, who took second place, with Lee Westwood narrowly behind the Irishman.

“This is by far my greatest achievement in golf – I never thought I would be in this position so it’s just incredible,” said Karlsson.

“The Order of Merit is based over the whole season and the last three events before the Volvo Masters – where I finished first, first and third – where so important. I went from fifth or sixth on the Order of Merit to the top and managed to stay there.

“I would say the last three and a half years, since I played well at the end of 2005, since then, I've obviously taken it up to a new level and now I have won the Order of Merit and it's fantastic.  It's hard to think about it.

“I was close in 2006 – there were four of us in with a chance to win it with nine holes to go and but to win it this time around is fantastic.  But it's one of those things that's a bit difficult to put your head around.  I think I need a few days for that.”

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