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Friday, 19 March 2010
Omega Mission Hills World Cup - Round Four  (Getty Images)
Omega Mission Hills World Cup - Round Four (Getty Images)

Henrik Stenson described it as “a great week” and “an honour to play for your country” after combining with Robert Karlsson to produce a scintillating performance in the final round foursomes to capture the Omega Mission Hills World Cup for Sweden.

Although they did not lead in any of the previous rounds, Sweden gradually improved upon each performance before saving their best for last to card a superb nine under par 63 and comfortably secure a second ever World Cup Title for Sweden by three strokes.

The last time Sweden prevailed at the tournament was when Per-Ulrik Johansson and Anders Forsbrand won the trophy in 1991. 

Spain, who had started the day tied for the lead alongside Australia, were unable to match their stunning nine under 63 in second round foursomes as Miguel Angel Jiménez and Pablo Larrazábal returned to the clubhouse at two under 70 to finish in second place at 24 under overall.

Richard Green and Brendan Jones of Australia finished in a share of third place alongside Japan after a disappointing four over par 76 for 18 under overall.

“It's a great honour to play for your country, and obviously even better when you win,” said Stenson.

“I think Sweden only won it once before in 1991.  So it was about time that we changed that and got our name up there again, and I hope we can continue.

“It's been a great week, obviously even better when we come out on top. I had a great week together with Robert. I think you can't help but bond together with your partner and we grew a little bit closer this week which was great. 

“I've got a new older brother now, he's old enough to be,” the World Number 12 joked about his 39 year old playing partner.

“I was starting to run out of tournaments, so it was nice to win this one. It has been a while,” added The Ryder Cup player Stenson, who despite enjoying a great season in 2008 had failed to secure any victories.

Karlsson, The European Tour Order of Merit Winner in 2008, added: “I played the World Cup last year, and I definitely enjoy coming here. It's great, this golf course sets up really well and is inviting to play and good fun to play it.

“It means very much to win for the country. This has always been an event in Sweden that's been big. I think it was a bit better, the quality of the players here this year, than last year.

“If you look on the trophy, there's many impressive pairings on there. I hope we can look back on it in the future and say the same about us playing here.”

Sweden, featuring the tournament’s highest ranked players in Karlsson and Stenson, were four shots off the pace at the start of the final round but quickly made their move up the leaderboard with five birdies in a flawless run on the front nine that saw them climb alongside Spain into a share of the lead at the turn.

They then added two in succession from the 11th before moving three clear when Stenson chipped in from the back of the green for a birdie at the 14th.

Sweden added one more on the 555 yard par five 15th - the Olazábal course's signature hole - and then made par on the remaining holes to return to the clubhouse at 27 under overall.

Consequently they were left to wait for Spain to complete their round as Jiménez and Larrazábal approached the last needing to card an eagle to force a play-off.

However, Larrazábal sent his tee shot into a bunker and though Jiménez recovered well, Spain could only putt for a bogey and confirm victory for Sweden.

Despite being denied on the final lap, Jiménez was still in good spirits.

“We were playing very well and I have a very nice partner,” he said. “We enjoyed all the week and I really had fun with my partner. We didn't win the tournament, but apart from that, very fine week.”

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