Friday 23 March 2018

Bjorn last man standing in shoot-out

Bernie McGuire

Thomas Bjorn joined Darren Clarke in striking a blow for the over-40s by winning a five-man play-off over five extra holes to capture the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles.

The 40-year-old Dane had recorded a final-round 69 to finish tied on 11-under par with South African George Coetzee (67), Spain's Pablo Larrazabal (69), England's Mark Foster (72) and Austrian Brend Wiesberger (69).

After first losing Wiesberger then Larrazabal and Foster, who bogeyed the last in regulation, it came down to Bjorn claiming his 12th Tour success with a birdie to Coetzee's par. It was also Bjorn's second victory this year.

"I had to dig pretty deep in the end, and when you set out in a play-off with five guys you are almost a little too relaxed as it takes a lot to go your way," said Bjorn. "But as we got rid of one player after another it all became very hard but the way I played the last three play-off holes I can't be more proud."

Peter Lawrie's hope of capturing a second Race to Dubai success faded when he bogeyed the first and then had to take an 'unplayable' penalty shot after finding bushes with his drive at the par-four fifth en route to a double-bogey.

Lawrie hit a 74 for a six-under-par tally and a distant share of 15th. "I started bogey, birdie and bogey and after having to take the unplayable at five I never really recovered," he said.

Damien McGrane posted a final-round 71 for a two-under-par tally, while Simon Thornton had a 72 for one-under, and Michael Hoey ended with a 70 for a one-over-par total.

Irish Independent

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