For the second week in a row, a playoff was needed to settle the winner of a European Tour event.
Sweden’s Mikael Lundberg holed a 40-foot birdie putt at the first extra hole to win the Lyoness Open in Austria after he and Austrian Bernd Wiesberger each finished 72 holes at 12-under 276.
While Lundberg gets the win, Wiesberger’s runner-up finish likely secured him a spot in next week’s U.S. Open. Wiesberger is currently projected to move to 60th in the Official World Golf Ranking, which would earn him a ticket to Pinehurst.
Here are 5 Things you need to know from the Lyoness Open:
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1. HORSES FOR COURSES: Joost Luiten certainly enjoys Austria. The Dutchman came up just short of defending the title he won last year. His third-place finish makes it three top 3s in his last three appearances. He was also third in 2011.
Luiten held the 54-hole lead with a two-shot advantage over the field. He is chasing a Ryder Cup spot, currently lying eighth on the European Points list, with the top 4 making the European team.
Needless to say, the €166,660 (166,660 Ryder Cup points) first-place check would have helped his cause. He had to settle for €62,600.
“I didn’t play great, didn’t get any good breaks and nothing went my way. It was one of those days,” Luiten said. “If you are two clear you want to win and finish it off and if you don’t do that you’re disappointed.”
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2. A LITTLE RYDER CUP JOY FOR JIMENEZ: Miguel Angel Jimenez could have been forgiven for skipping Austria and heading straight to Pinehurst and the U.S. Open. However, the flamboyant Spaniard teed it up in a field consisting of European Tour minnows.
The 50-year-old perhaps thought it was a good chance to rack up some Ryder Cup points with the big boys absent. Jimenez is currently seventh on the European Ryder Cup points list, with the top 4 earning places at Gleneagles.
Like Luiten, the €166,660 would have helped him in his search for his fifth Ryder Cup appearance. Instead, he finished fifth and earned €38,700.
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3. OLLIE AND OUT: Jose Maria Olazabal isn’t having the best of runs. That much was obvious when he missed the cut in Austria, his fourth missed cut in a row and sixth in seven starts.
The 2012 Ryder Cup captain has only made three cuts in nine events this year, with his best finish a T-34 at the Masters. He lies 134th on the European money list with just €68,690 in earnings.
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4. MAD DOG’S RETURN: Mark Davis took advantage of his past champion status to make a brief return to the European Tour.
The Englishman won this title in 1991 and ’94, but there would be no third title this time. Davis, known as “Mad Dog” during his heyday, returned two scores of 77 to miss the cut.
Now approaching his 50th birthday, Davis no doubt has his sights set on the European Senior Tour. He could do some damage on that circuit since he was a good player in his day.
Davis finished 31st on the European money list in 1994, a career high. He had a pretty solid career in the 1990s, but never really fulfilled his talent. Maybe he’ll shine in senior golf.
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5. MAYBE HENMAN SHOULD GIVE IT A GO: Tim Henman might as well try to play in a few professional tournaments. The Englishman can’t be any worse than former opponent Yevgeny Kafelnikov.
Kafelnikov played on a sponsor’s invitation, but much like his other European Tour appearances, didn’t fare well. Rounds of 79 and 82 saw the Russian miss the cut by 13 shots.
Kafelnikov’s fist-round score was only the second time he broke 80 in 14 official European Tour rounds. His lowest score is 74 in the second round of first stage of last year’s European Tour Qualifying School.
Unfortunately, it was sandwiched between scores of 80 and 81. Those scores are more representative of the former two-time tennis grand slam winner’s ability. His stroke average from those 14 rounds is 81.64.
Henman holds a scratch handicap at Sunningdale Golf Club. He probably isn’t thinking of trying to get his Tour card, but he might have a better chance than Kafelnikov.