Sweden’s Johan Edfors roared his way to the Barclays Scottish Open title after an inspirational final round of eight under par 63 at the stunning Loch Lomond Golf Club. Edfors teed off a full two hours before, and six strokes behind third round leaders Thomas Björn and Darren Clarke, but was soon plundering his way through the field on a birdie rampage, and set a tantalising clubhouse lead of 13 under par 271 that none of his opponents could match.
Edfors has had the kind of season that dreams are made of. He has now won three times on The 2006 European Tour International Schedule and, upon receiving his winners cheque for €577,540 from Barclays, moved to tenth place on The Ryder Cup European Points List and into contention for a place in Ian Woosnam’s European Team to take on the USA at The K Club in September.
For the moment, though, Edfors should be allowed to focus only on this outstanding victory. The 2003 Challenge Tour Number One looked to have played himself out of the running after a third round of three over par 74 left him trailing Björn and Clarke by six strokes with 18 holes to play.
But, angered by his “terrible” third round performace, the 30 year old flew out of the blocks on the last day, going to the turn in a spectacular six under par 30 to wipe out Björn and Clarke’s advantage before the leaders had even teed off.
Sensing that he had the chance to complete a hat-trick of European Tour victories, Edfors continued to dazzle on the back nine, with birdies on the 12th, 13th and 14th taking him to 14 under and into a two shot lead from Björn.
Edfors then dropped what looked likely to be an extremely costly shot on the 17th, but, at the same time, both Björn and Clarke found trouble around the turn, and the Swede once again looked favourite for the title.
It would not be golf without a final twist in the tale, however, and Edfors was forced into an uncomfortable wait as Argentina’s Andres Romero, playing in the second last group of the day, made a final charge for the line with birdies on the 14th and 15th to move to within one of Edfors’ 13 under clubhouse lead.
Seeing Romero making his move forced Edfors out of the comfort of the Players Lounge and onto the practice range to warm up for a potential play-off, but he was soon celebrating with his family and girlfriend when the news reached the range that Romero had bogeyed the last to ensure the Swede would take the title.
“It’s been a fantastic week,” said Edfors, who had brought most of his immediate family to Loch Lomond by way of a gift to celebrate hi father’s 60th and his brother in law’s 40th birthdays.
“I was here two years ago and my brother in law actually caddied for me then. We’ve been a big crowd here this week and we actually brought our own chef from Sweden. I think there’ll be a reasonable family celebration tonight.
“This is a great win for me and it has been a dream season, a wonderful year and I hope that it continues.”
While Edfors celbrated his victory, there was joy for romero as well, who secured the single available spot to next week’s Open Championship as the highest finisher not already exempt to Hoylake in the Barclays Scottish Open.
Not only that, but, in sharing second place with Englishman Luke Donald and Charl Schwartzel of South Africa, the Argentinean secured his card for the 2007 European Tour.