Bjorn charges to European Masters golf victory
04 Sep 2011 - 18:30:13
Denmark's Thomas Bjorn clinched his second title in as many weeks after shooting a superb nine-under-par final round of 62 to win the European Masters here on Sunday from Germany's Martin Kaymer.
Bjorn finished at 20-under, four shots clear of former world number one Kaymer, while Rory McIlroy finished joint third at 15-under in his first tournament since suffering a wrist injury at last month's USPGA Championship.
The 40-year-old Dane arrived in the Swiss Alps buoyed by his triumph in a five-man play-off at the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles last week.
He came into the final round three shots adrift of overnight leader Jamie Donaldson, but while the Welshman could only muster a 70, Bjorn matched the lowest round of his career, with nine birdies, an eagle and two bogeys in his 62.
Bjorn trailed Kaymer by a shot when the German missed a short bogey-putt at the long 14th, and Bjorn made him pay by going five-under through the last five holes to clinch the title.
"The way I finished was special and it's been an amazing two weeks," he said afterwards.
"I started hitting my wedges so well last week and kept it going.
"At the end you think nothing can go wrong. Golf seems easy sometimes and you have to remember that when you are not playing well."
Having also won in Qatar in February, this was Bjorn's third title of the year and it puts him out in front in the race to qualify for the European team at next year's Ryder Cup.
Donaldson was bidding for a first-ever European Tour win but settled for joint third with South Africa's Jaco Van Zyl, who shot a 64, and McIlroy.
The Northern Irishman may not have been able to keep up with Bjorn's relentless shot-making, but he had reason to be pleased with his performance.
"It was a bittersweet week," he said. "Coming back off the injury I didn't know what to expect. To get myself into contention was great and the arm felt 100 percent healthy, which is a huge positive.
"Even if I had played well I don't know if I would have been able to catch Thomas."
Elsewhere, Lee Westwood finished tied for sixth at 14-under, while last year's champion Miguel Angel Jimenez ended at 13-under.
Nick Dougherty, who led after the first round and made his first cut since November last year, faded to finish tied for 45th at four-under.