Sunday, 07 May 2017
Sunday Highlights - Golf Sixes

Denmark are the inaugural GolfSixes champions after a 3-1 victory over Australia in the final at the Centurion Club.

The European Tour was breaking new ground in St Albans with 16 teams of two starting the weekend and battling it out first in a group stage and then a knockout over six holes in greensomes.

By Sunday evening only two teams remained and it was Thorbjørn Olesen and Lucas Bjerregaard who took home the trophy after a hard fought win over Scott Hend and Sam Brazel in front of an excitable and large crowd.

Entrance music, pyrotechnics and a sprinkling of celebrity gave the event a whole new feel but it was world class golf that proved to be the highlight, with Olesen claiming his second team win for Denmark in six months after his victory at the ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf alongside Søren Kjeldsen.

Denmark had finished second in Group A on Saturday and 2-1 victories over France and Italy got them to the final against Australia, who finished second in Group C before overcoming Thailand and Scotland on Sunday.

A birdie on the third gave Australia a 1-0 lead in the final but Denmark then won the final three holes to make golfing history.

"It's been an amazing week," said Bjerregaard. "The fans have been great, it's been great to see how many kids have been out here and hopefully some of them will want to get into golf after this.

"It's been a fun couple of days. I would love to see more of this.

"Today got a little more serious, a little more down to business, but it's been so much fun, I think the crowds enjoyed it as well."

It's been an amazing week. It's been a fun couple of days. I would love to see more of this - Lucas Bjerregaard

"It's gone pretty well for me in team events recently," added Olseen. "I don't know if I'm a lucky charm. I feel like I've had good partners, as well.

"I was hoping for a win but Lucas played great, especially these last six holes. I was struggling a little bit.

"It's been fantastic. Team Denmark has got a lot of support so we're really happy with that.

"It's been a very intense couple of days. Feels like you've played 72 holes or even more. Six holes, it's very intense match play, playing only six holes and every shot really counts."

The fans created a cauldron of noise around the first tee and after Brazel's tee-shot found the fringe, Hend had the chance to give Australia the lead but saw his putt brush the low side.

Both teams hit impressive approaches into the second but Hend and Bjerregaard failed to make their birdie putts and the score remained 0-0 heading to the par five third.

Hend and Bjerregaard hit huge drives down the third but Olesen went long with the Danes' second while Hend was left with 18 feet for an eagle. The two-time European Tour winner got down in two and with Denmark failing to get up and down, Australia led 1-0.

The scores were soon level again, though, as both Hend and Brazel put their tee-shots in the water on the fourth to record a bogey, with Denmark winning the hole in par.

A swift turnaround in fortunes was completed on the fifth as Bjerregaard put his tee-shot to four feet and Olesen finished the job to send Denmark up the last with a 2-1 lead.

Olesen was inches from putting Denmark's second shot in the water on the sixth but an excellent recovery from Bjerregaard meant the Danes would have two putts for the win and Australia offered handshakes on the final green.

"A tad disappointing but Denmark played well and putted the last few holes a little better than us and they deserved the win," said Hend.

"It's a great week for everybody. The kids are fantastic. It's great to see so many kids kicking around, sliding down the hills and having fun on the golf course. That's what it's all about."

Brazel added: "It was awesome to be part of it. Centurion put a great event on. To the members, the guests, the fans, it's been fantastic."

There was drama in the third/fourth place play-off as Scotland won a nearest the pin contest on the play-off hole to beat Italy 2-1.

A birdie on the second edged Matteo Manassero and Renato Paratore ahead but it was 1-1 when Marc Warren and Richie Ramsay birdied the fifth and the teams could not be separated with pars on the sixth and the play-off hole.

That set up the dramatic finish and Warren put his tee-shot to seven feet and three inches, with Manassero finishing just four inches further away.

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