Sunday, 07 May 2017
Thorbjørn Olesen and Lucas Bjerregaard  (Getty Images)
Thorbjørn Olesen and Lucas Bjerregaard (Getty Images)

Denmark and Australia will go head-to-head in the final of the GolfSixes with the revolutionary new event set for a dramatic climax at the Centurion Club.

The Danes birdied the last to beat Italy's Matteo Manassero and Renato Paratore 2-1 in their semi-final, as Thorbjørn Olesen looks to add to the ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf he won with Søren Kjeldsen last season, this time playing alongside Lucas Bjerregaard.

The team of Scott Hend and Sam Brazel were waiting for them in the showpiece match after they claimed a 2-1 win over Scottish duo Richie Ramsay and Marc Warren.

Huge numbers of fans were once again enjoying the new format, with the teams battling it out in greensomes over six holes in glorious sunshine.

While the players continued to enjoy the fun of the music, pyrotechnics and fan interaction, there was a palpable heightened intensity in the last four as the prospect of the trophy and 200,000 euros got ever closer.

In the first semi-final, the first two holes were halved in pars, while both teams birdied the par five third before Bjeregaard holed from eight feet on the fourth to put Denmark 1-0 up.

Italy had birdied the fifth in all of their matches so far, however, and when Paratore put his tee-shot close on the par three, Manassero finished the job to send them up the last with the scores level.

They would have been brimming with confidence on the sixth tee having made a birdie to get out of the group stages and an eagle to win their quarter-final against England but Italy were to fall just short.

Olesen found the sand with the second shot but then holed a ten-foot putt to hand the Danes a birdie and when Paratore saw his birdie putt lip out at a 90-degree angle, Denmark had a 2-1 victory and a place in the final.

I'm sure it's going to be tight again. We're going to try to play our best. It's definitely not going to be easy for us, we know that - Thorbjørn Olesen

"Seeing how the Italians finished on 18 the last few rounds, I wanted to get it done before," said Bjerregaard. "We got one up on four and then gave it right back on five, a couple of bad tee-shots there and Renato hit it close.

"Nice of my partner to make the birdie on the last and an easy one I left him there, so that was good."

"It's a great rush to come down that last and it's all‑square and everything to play for and then to get the win is obviously awesome," added Olesen.

"I'm sure it's going to be tight again. We're going to try to play our best. It's definitely not going to be easy for us, we know that.

"We both played some really great golf. We just have to try to play our best and see if we can roll a few more putts in."

Australia and Scotland also halved the first in pars but when Brazel put his approach into the second to four feet, Hend finished the job to establish a 1-0 lead.

Both teams parred the third and Scotland had an excellent opportunity to level the scores after Hend put his approach over the green on the next but the birdie putt finished agonisingly by the side of the hole.

To pull on the colours for Australia is a great privilege and it's been fun to play in this event - Sam Brazel

A sloppy bogey on the fifth from the Australians levelled the scores heading up the last but when Warren put Scotland's second into the water, a missed par putt led to a concession.

"I'm loving it," said Brazel. "Obviously to pull on the colours for Australia is a great privilege and it's been fun to play in this event. I think it's a great atmosphere and we're just trying to have as much fun out here as we can."

Hend added: "Braz had a bit too much stress there on the second-last trying to slam the door, a little bit racey past the pin, but once again we got fortunate enough that the boys dunked one in the water there and we somehow managed to get one out of the bunker and on the green."

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