Home Rankings News
Dale Whitnell wins maiden DP World Tour title in Sweden

Dale Whitnell wins maiden DP World Tour title in Sweden

Dale Whitnell held his nerve to claim his first DP World Tour win after a dramatic final day of the Volvo Car Scandinavian Mixed.

The Englishman set the tone for his week at Ullna Golf and Country Club with a closing 96-yard hole-out eagle on day one and carried that momentum into a second-round 61 that handed him a six-shot lead at the halfway stage.

That advantage was cut to two with two to play as American Sean Crocker put the pressure on with a closing 65 but Whitnell birdied the 17th to give himself some breathing room and signed for a 70 and a three-shot win at 21 under.

Anne van Dam was the leading women's player at 15 under after a 69, alongside Yannik Paul who carded a closing 72.

But the headlines belonged to Whitnell, who completed his long journey to the winner's circle 14 years after turning professional.

The 34-year-old played in the Walker Cup alongside Tommy Fleetwood in 2009 but had a spell as a courier as he played on satellite tours before winning the KPMG Trophy in his rookie season on the European Challenge Tour ten years later.

That was the same year he earned his DP World Tour card at the Qualifying School and now, with three top tens already in 2023, he is a winner in his 106th start and moves into the top 20 on the Race to Dubai Rankings in Partnership with Rolex.

The win is also a second of the season for caddie Garry Melia, who is on Whitnell's bag for this week only and had the same deal when he helped another first-time English winner Matthew Baldwin to victory at the SDC Championship.

"It's awesome," said a clearly emotional Whitnell. "It tested me out there. Gaz was great.

"It's been a long road for me, I've got so many people to thank: my fiancée Angie, my little dog, Craig my coach who I didn't know flew out today, my mum and dad, Callaway, Travis Mathew, all my friends and family.

"It's been a long time coming, I'm ecstatic. It means everything to me, it's what I get up every day for. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come. I've dreamt of this for a long time."

Whitnell got off to a shaky start and needed to make a 15-footer to save par on the third before finding water at the next to surrender a bogey.

His lead was down to three as Crocker put an approach to six feet on the first, took advantage of the par-five third and eagled the fourth from seven feet but the leader restored his four-shot cushion with a smart approach at the fifth.

Crocker bogeyed the eighth and when Whitnell holed a 36-footer on the sixth, he was six ahead and looked to be cruising.

Some pressure was maintained as Crocker birdied the ninth and tenth after approaches to inside 12 feet but Whitnell made a 20-footer from the fringe at the 11th for birdie and then did very well to save par at the 12th after finding trees off the tee.

Crocker's tee-shot at the 15th left a little to be desired but his second was sensational and he holed from 25 feet for an eagle that left him just three back.

A Whitnell bogey after finding sand off the tee at the 13th meant it was all to play for but Crocker parred his way in to set the target at 18 under and the leader had his fate in his own hands.

A fantastic 17-foot putt on the 17th then went some way to calm the nerves and two fine blows up the last allowed the champion to enjoy his crowning moment.

Dutchwoman Van Dam had carded an excellent 63 - the lowest women's score in the history of the innovative event which sees 78 men and 78 women play the same course for the same prize - on day three and she carried that momentum into Sunday, carding five birdies and two bogeys in a 69.

Paul made one birdie and one bogey in his round which left the German at 15 under, a shot ahead of English pair Gabriella Cowley and Paul Waring, Dane Søren Kjeldsen and Scot Richie Ramsay.

Alexander Björk led the home charge at 13 under, one shot clear of amateur Hugo Townsend and two ahead of Alex Noren and top Swedish woman Medelene Sagstrom.

Dutchman Darius van Driel was in the group at ten under with the help of the fourth albatross of the season, holing a five iron on the 15th from 200 yards.