Thorbjørn Olesen overcame a spirited challenge from David Horsey to claim his fourth European Tour victory in the Turkish Airlines Open at Regnum Carya Golf & Spa Resort.
Some sensational golf over the first three days in Antalya had given Denmark’s Olesen a seven-shot lead heading into the final round, but when Horsey rattled in a 30 footer on the ninth to turn in 29 that advantage was down to two.
England’s Horsey then birdied the long 12th to get within one, but Olesen matched his nearest challenger’s four there in the group behind and then added further gains on the 14th and 15th to pull clear once more.
A closing 69 saw the 26 year old finish on 20 under par, with Horsey dropping into a share of second with China’s Li Haotong three shots further back.
“I actually slept alright the last couple of days,” Olesen said when asked about his huge overnight lead. “It was a weird feeling – I knew the guys today were able to shoot a low number so I had to make a few birdies. After nine holes guys were shooting really low numbers so all of a sudden there was a lot of pressure on.
“I felt like I kept it pretty steady. Obviously the last four holes were tough mentally.”
Olesen won the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship last year after a run of missing 13 cuts in 18 events, and it was a similar story in Antalya after making just three of his last 12.
“It means a lot,” he added. “The last couple of months have been pretty poor and I haven’t played well and all of a sudden you’re leading by a big margin and it was difficult when you haven’t been playing well for that long.”
“I felt like I kept it pretty steady. Obviously the last four holes were tough mentally.” - Thorbjorn Olesen
Horsey started the day as part of a five-way tie for second on 11 under, but three birdies in his first four holes took the Englishman to within four of the lead.
Olesen responded with his first gain of the day from 20 feet on the fifth, only for Horsey to ramp up the pressure with gains on the seventh and ninth.
And with Olesen finishing his back nine with a wayward drive followed by a three-putt for bogey, the gap was down to two to set up an exciting back nine.
However, once he birdied the 12th Olesen never looked back, with his only wobble a loose tee shot on the penultimate hole after which he produced a superb recovery from the trees to rescue par.