Lee Westwood (Getty Images)
Lee Westwood won his third Nordea Masters title in resounding fashion with a five shot triumph at Bro Hof Slott.
The World Number Three was simply irresistible from tee to green all week, and could even afford to miss five putts from inside six feet over the first ten holes of his closing 69.
That only one of those led to a bogey said everything about Westwood’s sumptuous approach play – the Englishman looking in commanding form as he prepares to make his 57th attempt at a first Major Championship victory at next week’s US Open.
Westwood, who recorded his first European Tour victory in this event back in 1996 and won again in 2000 en route to becoming European Number One for the first time, said: “It feels really special winning here another time – I’ve won it in three decades now which just shows how old we’re getting!
“I played really well this week - you don’t win tournaments by five shots without playing well.”
After starting the day with a three shot lead, Westwood curled in a 15 footer at the third.
He then missed a four foot birdie putt at the fourth, and saw a par putt of the same length horseshoe out at the sixth.
The 39 year old missed further birdie chances from inside six feet at the eighth, ninth and tenth and at that stage Ross Fisher and Peter Hanson had moved to within two.
But while those two had eventful back nines, Westwood hit top gear down the closing stretch.
He hit a brilliant approach to seven feet at the long 12th and eagled, and fired a wedge into five feet at the 15th for a birdie before paring his way in for a 19 under par total.
“I missed a few short putts on the front nine, had a lot of chances the first ten holes and could have really put some breathing space between me and the field,” Westwood added.
“Having said that when I needed to on the back nine – when they got a bit closer and put me under a bit of pressure – I managed to make a great eagle at 12, good birdie at 15 and pull away. I hit some really solid shots. It didn’t look like I was hitting it close on the last three holes but I can tell you those last three holes I hit it exactly where I wanted to every time.”
Fisher’s challenge effectively ended when he found water at the 13th and double bogeyed, but The Ryder Cup star recovered brilliantly with a hattrick of birdies from the 15th giving him a 71 and solo second place on 14 under.
Hanson also ran up a double bogey seven on the back nine, the Swede’s coming at the 15th, and his 71 saw him finish in a tie for third on 13 under.
He was joined by the fast-finishing Sergio Garcia and Finland’s Mikko Ilonen, who completed a solid week with a 68.
Spaniard Garcia had threatened to charge into contention from nowhere with six unanswered birdies, but he found water at the 17th and bogeyed, leading to a 67.