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Sunday, 12 May 2019
Marcus Kinhult with Betfred owner Fred Done and Tommy Fleetwood  (Getty Images)
Marcus Kinhult with Betfred owner Fred Done and Tommy Fleetwood (Getty Images)

Marcus Kinhult secured his maiden European Tour title at the 52nd time of asking after producing a birdie-birdie finish to win the Betfred British Masters by a single shot.

There was late drama at Hillside Golf Club on Sunday as Kinhult, Matt Wallace, defending champion Eddie Pepperell and young Scot Robert MacIntyre were locked together at 15 under par when the final group containing overnight leaders Kinhult and Wallace stood on the 18th tee.

With Pepperell and MacIntyre watching on following the conclusion of their rounds, Kinhult coolly rolled in his eight foot birdie putt at the last to sign for a final-round 70 and make his European Tour breakthrough.

Wallace finished in a tie for second place alongside Pepperell and MacIntyre after narrowly missing his 15 foot birdie putt on the 18th green.

Scot Richie Ramsay was alone in fifth on 12 under after carding a closing birdie, while Englishmen Paul Waring and Jordan Smith were in joint sixth on 11 under.



Kinhult has struggled for form at times this season, making the cut just twice in his first eight events of the campaign before heading to Southport this week.

But the Swede is used to producing his best golf on England's north west coast, having won the Lytham Trophy as an amateur in 2015.

And he did so again on the opening three days, posting scores of 65, 69 and 68 to head into the final round alongside Wallace at the top of the leaderboard.

Kinhult found himself in possession of the outright lead when Wallace failed to get up and down from a bunker at the first.

And after notching his first birdie of the day at the second to jump to 15 under par, Kinhult safely parred his way to the turn to stay one shot ahead of Wallace with nine holes left to play.



But the 29-year-old joined Kinhult at the summit when he began the back nine with a stunning 15 foot uphill birdie putt at the tenth to get to 15 under.

And the leading duo remained neck and neck after they both fired birdies at the long 11th.

But Wallace dropped out of the lead after failing to save par from five feet on the 12th green, having produced a sensational chip shot to give himself the chance.

Kinhult dropped his first shot of the day after a three putt at the 15th, handing Wallace a share of the lead once again.

Defending champion Pepperell joined the leaders on 15 under after tapping in his close range birdie putt at the long 17th, and when Kinhult missed his par putt on the 16th green, it was the two Englishmen who shared the lead.

But Kinhult hauled himself level with a ten foot birdie at the 17th to join Pepperell, Wallace and MacIntyre - who finished eagle-birdie - on 15 under.

After after a remarkable approach shot into the 18th, Kinhult nervelessly converted from eight feet to claim his first win.

Kinhult said: "I've been dreaming about it for such a long time and to finally do it is sort of amazing.

"It was so close all day between us. It was a bit like a match play between us - and then Bob and Eddie played well on the back nine today. They were up there, as well.

"But it was nice to play with Matt. He's a great guy and a good competitor. So yeah, it was good fun.

This is a very prestigious event and a nice little trophy to have - Marcus Kinhult

"This is a very prestigious event and a nice little trophy to have. To get it as my first win is special."

After finishing his title defence with a sparkling 66 to end the week one shot behind Kinhult, Pepperell said: "It was a good round. Very steady, really. 

"I only hit a couple of bad shots but very steady. 

"The whole week, I only made two bogeys actually, which for me is remarkable."

Tournament host Tommy Fleetwood was among the large group in a share of eighth place on ten under.

 

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1KINHULT, MarcusSWE18-16
T2PEPPERELL, EddieENG18-15
T2MACINTYRE, RobertSCO18-15
T2WALLACE, MattENG18-15
5RAMSAY, RichieSCO18-12
T6WARING, PaulENG18-11

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