WATFORD, England (AP) — Alex Noren of Sweden held his nerve at the British Masters on Sunday to claim a third European Tour title in his last eight tournaments.
Noren carded a final round of 69 at The Grove to finish on 18-under 266, two shots ahead of Bernd Wiesberger (67), with Lee Westwood (67) a shot further back in third.
Ranked 110th after missing the cut in the Irish Open in May, Noren will be 18th in Monday’s updated standings after adding Sunday’s triumph – and the first prize of 500,000 pounds ($608,000) – to victories in the Scottish Open and European Masters.
“I just worked quite hard and sometimes you get lucky like this,” Noren said. “You have to hit the right shots at the right times and I’m very happy. I believe in myself, but the big thing is you don’t have to play a perfect game.
“Just a few parts of your game need to be strong to get a win and I try to stay humble. I know golf is a tough game.”
Noren, whose win made certain of a Masters debut at Augusta in April, took a three-shot lead into the final round and birdied the first two holes, only for playing partner Richard Bland to do likewise.
Bland’s bogey on the seventh left Noren four clear, but the Swede then bogeyed the eighth as Bland, who tied for fourth, holed from 50 feet across the green for an unlikely birdie.
Noren’s lead was down to a single shot when he bogeyed the 11th and he did superbly to save par on the next – thanks to a brilliant recovery shot from the trees.
Wiesberger of Austria briefly joined Noren at the top of the leaderboard with a birdie on the par-five 15th, only for Noren to do likewise from a near-identical position in the group behind.
With Wiesberger unable to birdie the 18th, Noren knew all he needed was a par to win, but a superb pitch to two feet set up a birdie to cap off a brilliant run of form.
“Unfortunately this was not quite my week on the greens, but to finish well in a strong field like this helps going into the final couple of events this year,” Wiesberger said.
“I would have loved to squeeze another birdie in there, give him something to think about coming up the last. But I’m still very happy with my performance.”