Thorbjorn Olesen of Denmark finished at 18-under-par to win the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at the Old Course at St .Andrews by two shots over Brooks Koepka and Chris Stroud of the USA.
Olesen carded a fine third round of 65 at St. Andrews following a 68 at Carnoustie and a 66 at Kingsbarns to take a three-shot lead into the final day. He looked to be in command of the tournament. but he let the chasing pack back in with a double bogey at his second hole and a bogey at the next.
Twice previously a winner on the European Tour, Olesen remained calm and struck back immediately with birdies at the 4th and 5th holes. A string of nine straight pars followed and, when the Dane holed a long birdie putt on the 15th, he had the tournament all but won. Three straight pars to finish and Olesen had claimed a third European Tour title.
Four things we learned at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship:
1. Thorbjorn Olesen’s victory marked a fine return to form for the 25-year-old Dane. He’d endured a tough season to this point after taking three months off to have hand surgery at the start of the year. He had missed 13 cuts through the course of 2015 and had earned less than €200,000 in prize money. With this win he picked up more than €700,000 and secured his place in the season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai. He has climbed into the top-75 on the Official World Golf Ranking and moved to number 1 on the European Ryder Cup points list.
2. Brooks Koepka and Chris Stroud of the USA enjoyed an excellent week on Scotland’s east coast. Koepka earned his stripes on the European Tour and made a welcome return to the circuit. He is now into the top-10 in the Race to Dubai rankings. Chris Stroud made his debut in the Dunhill Links and he thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
“I had an incredible time. I can’t believe how lucky we got with the weather,” he said. “To play like that at the home of golf, it’s pretty special.”
3. 2015 Great Britain & Ireland Walker Cup stars Paul Dunne and Jimmy Mullen had a good week after recently becoming professionals. Dunne ended the tournament at 12-under-par in a tie for 19th place while Mullen, who had led the event through two rounds, finished 10-under for a share of 30th. Both will be looking to earn enough money over the next few weeks to gain playing rights for 2016.
4. This tournament is a pro-am and the team event was won by the German duo of Florian Fritsch and former international footballer Michael Ballack. They ended the week one ahead of Chris Wood and Mark Madden on 40-under-par. Ballack had birdies at the last two holes to sneak the victory.