Sunday, 04 October 2015
Thorbjørn Olesen  (Getty Images)
Thorbjørn Olesen (Getty Images)

Thorbjørn Olesen held his nerve to win the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship and claim his third European Tour title.

The Dane came second at this event in 2012 and went one better on Sunday, posting a one under par 71 to finish the week on 18 under par, two shots clear of American duo Brooks Koepka and Chris Stroud.

Englishman Chris Wood closed with a bogey free 65 to finish a shot further back alongside Benjamin Hebert, Bernd Wiesberger, Joakim Lagergren and Kiradech Aphibarnrat.

Olesen began his final round with a three shot lead over the chasing pack, but followed a birdie from eight feet on the first with a double bogey on the second and a bogey at the next to surrender the outright lead.

He bounced back in style, picking up shots at the fourth and fifth holes to return to the top of the leaderboard.

After safely parring the next nine holes, Olesen extended his advantage to two strokes with a brilliant birdie from 50 feet at the 15th.

And Olesen parred his way home to win his first tournament since last year's ISPS HANDA Perth International.

Olesen, who spent three months on the sidelines following hand surgery earlier this year, was delighted to win at St Andrews. 

It's been a very tough year and standing here with this trophy is unbelievable.
Thorbjorn Olesen

"On these three golf courses and finishing off especially on St Andrews is a great feeling." He said. "It's been a very tough season for me, and I would like to give a special thanks to my coaches, family and friends, and anyone who has been there.

"It was nice this week just to play three great rounds of golf - the first three - and keep it together in this last round.

"I got too aggressive on the second hole. I hit a great drive down there and felt like I had a good yardage. I was just too aggressive, and as soon as you get too aggressive on a links golf course, you get punished.

"So I just kept myself together and knew that I have tried it before. So stayed very patient."

Koepka made a solid start to his fourth round, notching back-to-back birdies at the fifth and sixth holes on his way to reaching the turn in 34.

The 25 year old began the back nine with three straight gains before carding his only bogey of the day at the 13th.

Koepka responded immediately, rolling in his 15 foot birdie putt at the 14th before closing out his round with four straight pars to finish on 16 under.

"I am pretty pleased," said Koepka. "The conditions were pretty tough, so 67 was fine. Just not quite good enough.

"It's a difficult course when the wind blows, especially in this direction. Overall I played pretty well but just came up a little bit short."

Stroud, meanwhile, opened his round with a bogey at the first before gains at the third, fourth and seventh holes took him to the turn in 34.

The 33 year old continued his charge with successive gains at the tenth and 11th but dropped another shot at the 16th to fall back to 15 under.

Stroud then birdied the final hole to join Koepka in a share of second place.

He said: "I can't imagine anything better than this. My goal score this year was 20-under par. I shot 16 first time here - pretty amazing. 

"I would take that score on any tournament, so at the original place of golf, right here in the Home of Golf, this is pretty special. 

"I had an incredible time. I can't believe how lucky we got with the weather and to birdie the last hole like that, it's just - it's awesome. I just had a great week."

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1OLESEN, ThorbjørnDEN18 R4-18
T2KOEPKA, BrooksUSA18 R4-16
T2STROUD, ChrisUSA18 R4-16
T4WOOD, ChrisENG18 R4-15
T4LAGERGREN, JoakimSWE18 R4-15

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