Thorbjørn Olesen finished eagle-birdie for the second day in succession to win the Betfred British Masters hosted by Danny Willett in dramatic fashion at The Belfry.
The 32-year-old posted a one over par round of 73 to finish on ten under, one stroke clear of Sweden’s Sebastian Soderberg.
The Dane entered the final round with a three-stroke lead but that soon disappeared after a two over par front nine, before another pair of bogeys at the 14th and 15th left the prospects of a first title for four years unlikely.
However, Olesen holed a 28-foot eagle putt on the par five 17th hole to draw level with Soderberg, who had earlier set the clubhouse target at nine under par, before going one better on the 18th as he converted a 35-foot birdie putt in front of a packed grandstand to seal victory and send the 15,000-strong English crowd into raptures.
The victory is the former Ryder Cup player’s sixth on the DP World Tour and first since the 2018 Italian Open, which set him on the path to make his debut for Team Europe later that year.
Olesen also moves to the top of the European Qualifying Series for this year’s U.S. Open. The top ten aggregate DP World Tour Rankings points earners, not otherwise exempt, from the Betfred British Masters, Soudal Open, Dutch Open and Porsche European Open will earn a place at The Country Club, Brookline in June.
Scottish duo Richie Ramsay and Connor Syme shared third place with South African Justin Walters on eight under par, with 2021 Challenge Tour graduates Chase Hanna, of the United States, and Germany’s Hurly Long a shot further back in a tie for sixth.
Eighth place was shared by eight players, including Ras al Khaimah Classic winner Ryan Fox and 2014 Ryder Cup player Jamie Donaldson.
Tournament host Danny Willett finished in a tie for 16th place on five under par but added four final round birdies to bring his fundraising total to £19,000 after four rounds. Tournament sponsors Betfred pledged to donate £1,000 for every birdie and £2,000 for every eagle the 2016 Masters Champion made this week.
Thørbjorn Olesen: “It was obviously a pretty tough day and hit a lot of shots to the left. I was really struggling. I somehow just kept going, and yeah, what a finish. Incredible.
“Standing on 17, I’m thinking can I make birdie, birdie and maybe get into a play-off. Obviously when I got the chance on 17, I preferred to take that. 18 is a tough hole, so par is a good score obviously. I just gave it everything.
“It’s obviously a massive tournament. It’s always been, so many great champions here. It’s a privilege to get your name there. Just always the great support you get in Britain. The crowds have been amazing from Thursday and onwards. Got so much support. So I’m really happy.
“I just had so much belief on 17 that I could make it. I just forced it in somehow which was incredible. Especially with the crowds, the British crowds has been amazing all week.
“Everything was going left. Yeah, it was tough to play when you have that but I kept on fighting. I saw I still had a chance going up to 17, and I thought if I can make birdie, birdie, maybe get into a playoff. But obviously I made that on 17; it was a nicer feeling walking down 18.
“It was amazing, from Thursday on, I thought they were really great for me and supported me the whole way around, even though I’m from Denmark. But it’s like always when you come to Britain, there’s just great support here for golf and it’s a great place to play.
“There’s so much emotions, it’s been a long time since I won and I knew how hard it was going to be. I was really struggling out there and just didn’t have it. Somehow just kept on fighting and scrambling some cars and saw I still had a chance there on 17. Yeah, if I could make birdie, birdie, I thought I could force a playoff, so that was my thinking.”