Lucas Bjerregaard cruises to 1st European Tour win at Portugal Masters

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Lucas Bjerregaard cruises to 1st European Tour win at Portugal Masters

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Lucas Bjerregaard cruises to 1st European Tour win at Portugal Masters

Lucas Bjerregaard is finally a European Tour winner. The Dane came of age in style, too. He romped to a four-shot victory in the $2.4 million Portugal Masters.

The 26-year-old has been a winner in waiting since running Justin Rose close in the 2015 UBS Hong Kong Open. Bjerregaard shared the 54-hole lead on that occasion but had to settle for second place.

There was no disappointment this time around. The 2010 European Amateur champion began the final round with a slender one-shot lead but notched eight birdies in a closing 6-under 65 to record a 20-under 264 total. He bettered Scotland’s Marc Warren by four strokes to take the $398,000 first-place check. Warren earned $266,000.

Englishmen Eddie Pepperell and Graeme Storm shared third place on 15 under and took home $135,000 each.

Bjerregaard arrived in Portugal 114th on the European Tour money list, hoping just to get inside the top 100 to keep his card for next season. He has no worries on that front now. The victory gives him a two-year exemption, and he rises to 47th on the European pecking order.

“It feels really good,” Bjerregaard said. “It’s not been the year I’ve been looking for. To be honest, it’s been really tough. To be in contention again and come out on top feels even better.

“I felt really confident. My girlfriend asked me this morning if I was nervous and I said: ‘no, don’t worry, I’ve got this.’

“I’ve been in this position a couple of times before, so to finally come through and get my first win feels really good.

“Today is definitely up there with one of my best rounds. Under the pressure, some of the shots I hit today – the two shots I hit on 17 – are some of the best shots I’ve hit in a long time.

“To hit the shots I did and to come out and make some birdies early felt really good as well. I felt like it was my turn to go out and grab it and not wait for someone else to hand it to me.”

Bjerregaard, who only needed 24 putts in the final round, joins a list of distinguished Danes – Thomas Bjorn, Thorbjorn Olesen and Soren Kjeldsen – to win on the European Tour.

“I’ve been out here for four years now, and to be honest you start doubting if it’s ever going to happen because you know you’ve got to have a week where it all comes together and, luckily, this was the week for me.”

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