Rikard Karlberg was delighted to defy tough conditions with a best-of-the-week 65 as he continued his excellent form with a runner-up finish at the BMW PGA Championship.
The 29 year old from Sweden had finished 25th, eighth, 21st and tenth in his last four events, and after a hole-in-one at the second made light work of Wentworth Club’s West Course with a round of 65.
That threatened to be enough to get Karlberg into a play-off as the later starters struggled, with his eight under par total eventually coming up one shy of Chris Wood’s winning score.
“When I came here and played my first practice round on Tuesday it felt so tough, such a tough golf course, and to be able to do that on a Sunday I’m very thrilled,” said Karlberg, whose cheque for € 555,550 is the largest of the 72° OPEN D'ITALIA presented by DAMIANI winner’s European Tour career.
“I was a little bit tired today, there’s been a lot of tough golf this week and in Ireland, so this has given me a booster and I’m thrilled.” - Rikard Karlberg
Masters Tournament champion Danny Willett finished third on seven under, but having been 12 under through 27 holes on Friday morning admitted there was a sense of an opportunity missed.
“There’s a lot of good in there but the bad shots round here this week have been pretty bad and we’ve struggled to get up-and-down from a few of them,” Willett said after his closing 71.
“You come away and after a good couple of rounds last week and then a couple of poor ones, and similar again this week just struggled to get anything going on the weekend.
“Looking at the scores now we could have made it really close today if we’d have got going and kept the foot down but we just threw too many mistakes at it.
“To get a top-five finish is alright but of course you’re working hard to try and win.
“We never got anything going. It was easy sailing Friday in the morning, and then we hit a bit of a slow patch, and that kind of killed it really. We never seemed to fire like we did on that front nine on Friday.”