Denmark’s Lucas Bjerregaard failed to read the script as he stunned champion Tyrrell Hatton in a dramatic finale to clinch the Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews.
Hatton seemed on course for his third win in a row in the event and he held a four-shot lead at the turn after reaching 18-under-par but he faded on a back nine he will want to forget and it was Bjerregaard who came from six shots behind with 12 holes remaining to claim the title with a five-under-par 67 giving him a one-shot victory on 15 under.
Bjerregaard’s birdie at the 13th along with bogeys at 10, 11, 15 and 16 for Hatton meant the Dane held a one-shot lead and he holed a 25-foot putt at the 16th, his 17th hole, to give himself a two-shot cushion.
His final birdie proved crucial as a bogey at his final hole, the 17th, gave Hatton and fellow Ryder Cup player Tommy Fleetwood the chance to force a play-off but both men missed their birdie putts at the 18th to finish one shot behind the winner.
Bjerregaard was delighted with his dramatic comeback to secure his second European Tour title.
He said: “It was a great day and one of the best rounds I’ve played all year. I’ve played well recently and come close a few times. I lost a play-off in Switzerland which hurt so this feels really good and I’ll enjoy this one no doubt.
“I was looking at all the boards and it didn’t look like I had much of a chance. It looked as if Tyrrell was going to run away with it but we knew the back nine would play tough and if I could get a few birdies I could have a chance and I didn’t force it.
“It’s nice to start with 18 this morning and make a birdie there as I did. That was one early which gave me a good start.
“I enjoyed the walk up 18 even more as it was nice like I needed a birdie. I could walk up there in peace knowing it was all over and I really enjoyed that.”
Bjerregaard took inspiration from his visit to France last week at the invitation of countryman, Europe’s Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn, and he was delighted to maintain the feelgood factor in Denmark following his win at the Old Course yesterday.
He said: “I’ve never been to a Ryder Cup before but Thomas invited me down on Saturday so I went. He showed me around in what was a busy week for him and I saw the team room and the locker room and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t inspired.
“I was delighted for Thomas and being around it was amazing to see. I was so delighted for him but I was definitely inspired and definitely want to make that team one day.
“I’m sure there are a few messages in there. When I won in Portugal Thomas was the first one to call me and I’m sure all the boys have left me nice messages.”