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Sunday, 19 August 2018
Day 4 Highlights - Nordea Masters

Paul Waring defeated Thomas Aiken in a play-off to win his first European Tour title at the Nordea Masters.

The duo entered the final round at Hills Golf Club tied for the lead and could not be separated over 18 holes as they both fired rounds of 68 to get to 14 under on an enthralling afternoon in the rain in Gothenburg.

When they returned to the 18th tee, Aiken put his first shot in the water and a par from Waring saw him claim his maiden win at the 200th attempt.

German Maximilian Kieffer finished with three birdies in a 65 to sit at 13 under, one shot clear of in-form Dane Thorbjørn Olesen.

The victory is the pinnacle of a roller coaster career so far for Waring, who has had to overcome two major injuries since coming through the Qualifying School in 2007.

A wrist injury saw him miss large parts of the 2011 and 2012 seasons, while a shoulder problem meant he could only play 12 events over 2015 and 2016.

He achieved a career-best finish of 60th on the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex last season and is now in position to go better than that in 2018.

“I'm ecstatic,” he said. “I wasn't ever sure this day would come in total honesty. I've tried so hard for many years to get to this point and it's nice to finally cross the line and be holding the trophy.

“It feels like it's all worth it. I've had a couple of operations along the way and it's nice to finally have got to this point. I'm sure that everyone back home will be absolutely thrilled for me. This is all for everyone back home as well.”

For Aiken, this week represents a welcome return to form for the South African, who has three European Tour victories but had achieved just one top ten this term before arriving in Sweden.

“There are a lot of positive things to take to the next few weeks,” he said. “The ball just didn't find the hole.

“Obviously disappointed with the play-off but that's the way the cookie crumbles sometimes and we've got a lot of positivity to build on in the next two months.”

The result could also prove significant for Olesen, whose fourth-place finish moved him into the automatic positions for the Ryder Cup Team via the World Points List.

Aiken holed from the fringe on the first to take the lead but Waring responded with a long putt on the second as his playing partner missed a birdie effort from six feet.

An excellent approach into the third left Aiken with four feet for a birdie and he made no mistake to edge ahead.

He almost found the water on the next and failed to get up and down and when he missed the green off the tee on the par-three fifth, it was back-to-back bogeys.

Waring hit his tee-shot to ten feet on the par-three tenth to open up a two-shot lead and while Aiken cut the gap with a birdie after driving the 12th, the man from the Wirral hit another excellent first into the 13th to re-establish his cushion.

A first bogey of the day on the 15th cut the lead to one and Aiken got up and down from the sand on the last for a birdie to set up the play-off

Kieffer bogeyed the first but played a wonderful recovery for a bounceback birdie on the par five third to turn in 36.

Another birdie came on the 11th and when the 28 year old drove the 12th and holed from ten feet for an eagle he was on the charge.

A bogey-birdie-bogey run threatened to stall his momentum but he picked up another shot on the 16th, holed a 20-footer on the 17th and then got up and down from the sand on the 18th to set the target just one off the lead.

Olesen got in trouble on the third to drop to eight under but an approach to five feet on the eighth helped get him back level for the day before he also birdied the 12th, 17th and 18th.

Australian Lucas Herbert picked up six shots in his last seven holes to get to 11 under, two shots clear of Thai Jazz Janewattananond, Italian Andrea Pavan, South Africa's Haydn Porteous and Englishman Robert Rock.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1WARING, PaulENG18-14
2AIKEN, ThomasRSA18-14
3KIEFFER, MaximilianGER18-13
4OLESEN, ThorbjørnDEN18-12
5HERBERT, LucasAUS18-11
T6JANEWATTANANOND, JazzTHA18-9

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