Anders Hansen brought the curtain down on an impressive professional career with his 419th – and almost certainly final – European Tour appearance at the Portugal Masters.
Hansen is hanging up his clubs at the end of this season, and whilst he has not entirely ruled out the possibility of making the odd appearance on The European Tour in the future – he retains his playing privileges through his position in the top 40 Career Money List – the Dane will concentrate chiefly on other pursuits.
As he reflected on a European Tour career which yielded three victories and €12,215,735 in prize money, Hansen paid tribute to his friends, family and fellow professionals.
He said: “It’s been a great ride, and I’ve really enjoyed it every step of the way. There have been some ups and downs, but that’s the nature of professional golf – and of life. It’s almost a shame it’s over, but I do feel it’s the right time to call it a day and do other things with my life.
“I’d like to thank everyone who has supported me down the years, and whilst I’ll miss the Tour I have some very special memories which I’ll take with me.”
One of the highlights of Hansen’s 20-year professional career came at the BMW PGA Championship in 2007, when he won The European Tour’s flagship event for a second time after a play-off with home favourite Justin Rose.
Having closed with a round of 69 for an eight under par aggregate total which was matched by Rose, Hansen sunk a 25-foot putt for birdie on the first extra hole to secure his second European Tour title in dramatic fashion.
Hansen’s breakthrough victory also came at Wentworth Club in 2002, when he demolished a world-class field with an imperious performance to win by five strokes from Colin Montgomerie and Eduardo Romero. His score of 19 under par remained a BMW PGA Championship record in relation to par, until it was broken this year by Byeong Hun An, who finished on 21 under par.
Hansen’s third and final European Tour victory came in the 2009 Joburg Open, but he enjoyed his most consistent season in 2011 when he finished seventh in The Race to Dubai thanks chiefly to some seriously impressive performances on American soil.
Hansen missed out by a single stroke on joining eventual champion Keegan Bradley and runner-up Jason Dufner in a play-off at the US PGA Championship – a performance which still ranks as his best in a Major Championship.
His highest finish in a World Golf Championship event also came that same season, as Hansen tied for third behind Nick Watney in the WGC-Cadillac Championship.
He also claimed the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit in 2009 and represented Denmark in the World Cup eight times and Continental Europe twice in the Seve Trophy.