Monday, 13 May 2019
Marcus Kinhult  (Getty Images)
Marcus Kinhult (Getty Images)

Marcus Kinhult held his nerve to claim his first European Tour title by one shot in a gripping finale to the Betfred British Masters, which was hosted by Ryder Cup star Tommy Fleetwood.

Kinhult started the day at the top of the leaderboard on 14 under alongside Englishman Matt Wallace, but as the final pair teed up at the last, they were both locked in a four-way tie at 15 under with defending champion Eddie Pepperell and Scotland's Robert MacIntyre at Hillside Golf Club.

The Swede hit a terrific approach into the last and coolly holed his birdie putt to win for the first time in 52 European Tour appearances.

Here, we take a look at some of the highlights from an entertaining week in Fleetwood's hometown of Southport.

Matthew Jordan - course record breaker

The Englishman was not a household name when he arrived at the Betfred British Masters on Thursday but the 23-year-old will be one to look out for after bursting into the spotlight by breaking the course record in the first round. Jordan only turned professional in September after an excellent amateur career that included a Walker Cup appearance in 2017 and was playing in only his ninth European Tour event - on an invite - when he hit a blemish free 63 to hold a two-shot overnight lead on Thursday. Jordan was in a four-way tie at five under following birdies at the first, second, fourth, sixth and eighth but he jumped two ahead of the chasing pack with successive gains from the 10th. The Englishman made his eighth gain of the day on the 13th and after an excellent approach into the 15th, he was nine under and he parred the last three holes to put his name in Hillside Golf Club history.

Niklas Lemke's birdie blitz

The Swede came within touching distance of a place in the European Tour history books as he carded a superb 64 on Friday. James Nitties broke the record for consecutive birdies in a round at the ISPS Handa Vic Open but Lemke threatened that mark once again in Southport. Starting on the back nine, Lemke bogeyed the 11th before beginning his run at the 13th, where he chipped in at the 16th and got on the par five second in two to reach eight straight birdies. He came close to adding a ninth at the next after an excellent tee shot but his approach found the greenside bunker and he could not hole out for a record-equalling ninth gain. Eight consecutive birdies is still an incredible achievement and puts 35-year-old alongside the likes of the great Seve Ballesteros, so he is in esteemed company.

Classy Kinhult keeps his cool to record first win

Kinhult claimed his maiden European Tour title at the 52nd time of asking after a nerveless birdie-birdie finish at Hillside Golf Club. The Swede had previous in producing some of his best golf in England's north west coast when he won the Lytham Trophy as an amateur in 2015 and after carding scores of 65, 69 and 68, he topped the leaderboard alongside Wallace ahead of the final round. Kinhult found himself in front on his own when Wallace bogeyed the first before the pair birdied the next. However, Wallace hauled himself into contention and then moved ahead after Kinhult carded bogey-bogey from the 15th. This handed the initiative to the Englishman and Pepperell - who registered his sixth birdie at the penultimate hole to reach 15 under. MacIntyre joined them after finishing with eagle-birdie, but Kinhult made it a four-way tie for the lead heading down the last thanks to a birdie before holding his nerve from eight feet for another gain and victory.

Thrilling finish on Sunday

Sunday saw an entertaining end to a brilliant week in Southport as no less than four players were in the hunt of victory as the final group headed down the last. Kinhult and Wallace started the fourth day at 14 under but the Swede found himself in front after his playing partner bogeyed the first. The pair birdied the next as Kinhult held a one-shot advantage with nine holes to play. However, successive gains from the turn saw the Englishman join Kinhult at 16 under after the Swede picked up a shot at the 11th. Wallace dropped to 15 under at the 12th only for Kinhult to card bogey-bogey from the 15th to hand the lead to the Englishman alongside Pepperell, who recorded his sixth gain at the 17th. MacIntyre joined them at the summit with an eagle-birdie finish, with Kinult making it a four-way tie following a ten foot birdie at the penultimate. Pepperell and MacIntyre waited in the clubhouse for a potential play-off but Kinhult hit a wonderful approach into the final green before rolling in the winning birdie.

Fleetwood's hosting debut a success

The Englishman had to juggle off the course activities while also aiming to be the first host to claim victory in Betfred British Masters. A tie for eighth ensured Fleetwood made his mark on the tournament with the best finish by a British Masters host - eclipsing Justin Rose's tied ninth at Walton Heath Golf Club. And the World Number 16 was delighted to provide world-class golf in front of sell-out crowds in his hometown. Fleetwood said: "I would have loved to have played a bit better and given the fans a little more to cheer but the number one thing I wanted when given the opportunity to host was to bring it here to Southport. I knew it would be great event but this has exceeded all expectations."

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1KINHULT, MarcusSWE18-16
5RAMSAY, RichieSCO18-12
T6WARING, PaulENG18-11

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