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Robert Karlsson at 50

Robert Karlsson at 50

The 2008 European Number One is celebrating a special birthday this week.

Robert Karlsson

Happy birthday Robert Karlsson!

The towering Swede turned 50 on September 3, racking up 623 European Tour appearances, 11 wins, an Order of Merit title, two Ryder Cup appearances and a World Cup win en route.

He has already admitted he has one eye on the seniors circuit now he has reached his milestone but here we take a look back at what has been a glorious European Tour career so far.

Early career and European Tour wins

Robert Karlsson

Karlsson joined the professional ranks in 1989 but he was already no stranger to the European Tour, having made his debut a year earlier as an amateur at the PLM Open in his native Sweden.

He earned his card via the Qualifying School in 1990 and made steady progress in his early years, securing his first top five finish at the 1991 Renault Belgian Open.

Karlsson's maiden victory arrived at the 1995 Turespaña Open Mediterrania and was followed by trips to the winner's circle in 1997, 1999, 2001 and 2002 at the BMW International Open, Belgacom Open, Via Digital Open de España and Omega European Masters respectively.

Wins at the Celtic Manor Wales Open and Deutsche Bank Players Championship of Europe in 2006 took his tally to seven and helped him secure qualification for his first Ryder Cup at the K Club...

Robert Karlsson and Paul Casey

Team golf prowess

As well as his individual successes, Karlsson was also a fantastic team player. He helped Europe to a thumping Ryder Cup victory in 2006, earning half a point alongside Paul Casey in the morning fourball sessions on both Friday and Saturday. 

He was also part of the European Team who lost at Valhalla Golf Club two years later but he did not have to wait long for his next taste of team success, winning the World Cup for Sweden in partnership with Henrik Stenson in November 2008.

Karlsson and Stenson

European Number One

In 2008 he won the Mercedes-Benz Championship and the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on his way to clinching the European Tour Order of Merit (now the Race to Dubai). 

He held off competition from then Open Champion Padraig Harrington, as well as Lee Westwood and Miguel Ángel Jiménez to finish top of the rankings.

Robert Karlsson

Success since then

Karlsson continued his recent trend of winning two events every other season as he lifted the trophy at the Commercialbank Qatar Masters presented by Dolphin Energy and the season ending Dubai World Championship presented by DP World in 2010.

He then recorded his best finish at the US PGA Championship, coming joint fourth at the 2011 edition, three shots behind champion Keegan Bradley.

Karlsson secured his best finish of the 2019 season so far when he came tenth at the D+D Real Czech Masters last month.

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