Lucas Bjerregaard came from six shots off the pace to win the $5 million Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at St. Andrews. The 27-year-old edged out Tommy Fleetwood and Tyrrell Hatton by a shot to win his second European Tour title.
The 6-foot-3-inch Dane began the final round four shots off the lead and was six behind after 12 holes. He took advantage of a Hatton wobble on the back nine to win. Bjerregaard’s closing 5-under 67 around the Old Course gave him a 15-under 273 total. He earned a check for $800,000. Hatton and Fleetwood picked up $416,905 each.
“I’m getting a little emotional,” said Bjerregaard, winner of last year’s Portugal Masters. “It’s been a great year and now it’s just a whole lot better.
Hatton looked like steamrollering his way to his third consecutive Alfred Dunhill Links victory to join Nick Faldo, Ernie Els and Tiger Woods as winner of three consecutive European tournaments. The 26-year-old Englishman made four consecutive birdies on his front nine but came unstuck at the 10th hole when he bunkered his tee shot. He bogeyed that hole and threw in another three to fall short.
“It didn’t really look like I was ever in it today, it looked like Tyrrell was going to take off with it,” Bjerregaard said. “I was trucking away at it. I’ve been playing well for a little while and I played really well today and I’m really pleased that it was enough.”
Bjerregaard arrived at the Home of Golf on the back of seven top 10s this year, including second to Matthew Fitzpatrick in the Omega European Masters. He began the week 25th on the European Tour’s Race to Dubai and moves to 10th with the victory. He is in line for his best ever European Tour season. He was 57th on last year’s Race to Dubai.
Fleetwood’s joint second place finish sees him leapfrog Patrick Reed to European No. 2 behind Ryder Cup playing partner Francesco Molinari. Fleetwood won last year’s Race to Dubai and, considering their successful Ryder Cup partnership, a Fleetwood/Molinari fight to be 2018 European No. 1 would add much intrigue to the end of the season.
Hatton moves to sixth on the Race to Dubai.