Lucas Bjerregaard has all but secured his place in the season ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, after winning his maiden European Tour event at the Portugal Masters.
The 26-year-old Dane finished four shots ahead of Scotland’s Marc Warren on a low-scoring final day at the Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course in Vilamoura to claim 333,330 points and catapult himself from 114th to 47thplace in the European Tour’s Race to Dubai rankings.
The result sees Bjerregaard’s season tally grow to 582,062 points, placing him in prime position to qualify for the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, taking place at Jumeirah Golf Estates from November 16-19.
Nick Tarratt, Director of the European Tour International Dubai office, said: “We congratulate Lucas on entering the winner’s circle on the European Tour for the very first time. His win in Portugal is a huge step towards qualifying for November’s season finale in Dubai and wish him all the best in his quest to do so.”
Bjerregaard came in to the final round of the Portugal Masters with a slim one shot advantage but he set the tone early, doubling his lead with a birdie on the opening hole.
The Dane didn’t look back from there as he went on to fire seven more birdies to sign for a blistering final round 65 and finish on 20 under par, four clear of his nearest competitor.
“Today is up there with one of my best rounds,” said Bjerregaard, who won the inaugural GolfSixes, an unofficial pairs event on the European Tour, earlier this year alongside fellow countryman Thorbjørn Olesen.
“Not so much the six under around here, I’ve done that before, but under the pressure some of the shots I hit – the two shots I hit on 17 are some of the best I’ve hit in a long time. I felt like it was my time to go out and grab it and not wait for someone to hand it to me.”
Warren’s lone runner-up finish at the Portugal Masters earned him a useful haul of 222,220 points. The Scotsman now jumps from 173rd to 100th place in the Race to Dubai rankings with a season total of 317,075 points. He’ll know that only a very strong finish to the season will see him have any chance of making it to November’s season finale.
Meanwhile Graeme Storm and Eddie Pepperell picked up a healthy 112,600 points each as they finished tied for third place to make significant strides up the rankings. Pepperell’s continued rich vein of form means he now breaks in to the top 60 in the Race to Dubai. The Englishman elevated his position to 54th place while Storm moved to 39th.
Another man who is now in the Race to Dubai’s top 60 is South Africa’s George Coetzee. His tied seventh place finish in Portugal earned him 46,320 points, taking him from 64th to 57th place in the rankings with a season tally of 487,384.
However it’s still the Englishman Tommy Fleetwood who remains at the head of the Rankings with 3,771,122 points, whilst Spaniard Sergio Garcia is in second with a season-tally of 2,799,255 points and his young compatriot Jon Rahm sits in third spot on 2,761,857.
Top 10 Race to Dubai Rankings after the Portugal Masters
|4||Rafa CABRERA BELLO||(ESP)||2,124,686|
Click here for the full 2017 Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex