Sunday, 29 April 2018
Alexander Bjork - It was the best round of my life

Alexander Björk carded a 65 to win his first European Tour title after a final day of twists and turns at the Volvo China Open.

The Swede entered the day a shot off the lead but was part of a six-way tie at one point on the front nine as the round ebbed and flowed in dramatic fashion at Topwin Golf & Country Club.

Jordan Smith signed for a brilliant 64 to set the clubhouse target at 16 under but Björk joined him with a birdie on the 12th and he held the lead on his own after another on the 15th.

Spaniards Jorge Campillo and Adrian Otaegui joined him in top spot but another gain on the 17th edged Björk ahead and he was left with an anxious wait at 18 under.

A three-putt on the 17th from Otaegui left him and playing partner Matt Wallace both needing eagles up the last to force a play-off, with Otaegui making a birdie to take second place on his own.

Campillo was then third at 16 under alongside the English pair of Smith and Wallace.

Dane Lucas Bjerregaard joined Smith in equalling the lowest round of the week with a 64 to sit at 15 under, a shot clear of local favourite Wu Ashun, South Korean duo Jinho Choi and Jeunghun Wang, and Ireland's Paul Dunne.

Björk's win comes in his 44th European Tour event and follows ties for second at the UBS Hong Kong Open and third at last week's Trophée Hassan II this season.

He also becomes the first Swede to win the Volvo China Open and extends his country's run of seasons with a European Tour win to 30.

I felt confident almost all the way. I guess it was meant to be today - Alexander Björk

"It's tough to describe the emotions," he said. "I'm really happy and really proud of myself the way I played today, it's probably one of the best rounds of golf I ever played, the best round in the situation.

"I made pretty much no mistakes today, I'm super happy. I've been striking the ball so well off the tee and also into the greens all week. It's been so solid, it's easy to play a round when the swing is there.

"It's the final day and the pressure comes on and I still hit good shots on the way in.

"I had a really good feeling this morning, I was less nervous than I usually am before a big final round, I felt confident almost all the way. I guess it was meant to be today."

The 27 year old first hit the front with a stunning approach to the first and further birdies on the par five fourth and eighth, and the 11th, had him one behind Smith who made an incredible surge through the field with birdies on the first, second, seventh, eighth, 11th, 12th, 15th and last.

Otaegui holed a brilliant 25-foot left-to-righter on the second, made the most of the eighth and then hit a stunning approach to the ninth to also sit just one back.

Björk's birdie on the 12th saw him join the lead and Otaegui joined him with a 25-foot putt on the 13th before Campillo got in on the action.

He turned in level par but made a hat-trick of birdies from the tenth and when he holed a long chip on the driveable 15th for eagle, he was 16 under.

Björk got up and down from the sand on the 15th to edge ahead with Otaegui doing the same from over the back to join him before a left-to-righter on the 17th edged Björk back ahead.

Otaegui's bogey on the penultimate hole handed Björk some breathing room before the Saltire Energy Paul Lawrie Match Play champion's closing gain.

Wallace was level par for his round after ten holes as he overcame a double-bogey on the fourth and birdies on the 11th, 12th, 15th and 17th kept his hopes alive heading up the last.

After birdieing the first and dropping a shot on the fourth, Bjerregaard made a hat-trick of gains from the sixth and further birdies on the 11th, 12th, 15th, 17th and last.

Wu - the 2015 champion - made the 14th ace of the season and third of the week on the 13th en route to a 67, with Choi, Dunne and Wang all signing for rounds of 68.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1BJÖRK, AlexanderSWE18-18
2OTAEGUI, AdrianESP18-17
T3SMITH, JordanENG18-16

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