‘Ryder Cup visit inspired me’ says Bjerregaard after brilliant win at St Andrews

ST ANDREWS, October 7, 2018 – The St Andrews galleries came expecting to see Tyrrell Hatton make history by winning his third consecutive Alfred Dunhill Links title, but Lucas Bjerregaard blew him off course.

After a shotgun start at 8.30am due to high winds, it was the 27-year-old Dane who came from four shots behind to win by one from Hatton and Tommy Fleetwood, and send the Old Course golf fans home saluting a great performance.

Bjerregaard was ten-under par at the start of the round but posted an excellent 67 in difficult conditions to claim his second European Tour victory.

The Dane’s superb round eclipsed the challenge of Hatton, who held a five-shot lead at one point before dropping four shots on the back nine and finishing with a level-par round of 72.

Hatton’s fellow Ryder Cup hero Fleetwood’s final-round of 69 was enough to tie second with Hatton on 14-under-par, but no more.

Bjerregaard said: “It was a great day. Obviously one of the best rounds I’ve played all year. It didn’t really look like I had much of a chance. It looked like Tyrrell was going to run away with it. But I just kept going about my business.

“I knew the back nine was going to play tough, so I thought if I could throw in a few birdies there, I would still have a chance. I didn’t rush it and they just slowly came. The one on the 16th was really nice.”

Bjerregaard revealed that he received inspiration from the European Ryder Cup win after being invited to Paris by fellow Dane, Thomas Bjorn, the team captain.

“I had never been to the Ryder Cup before, but Thomas was kind enough to invite me. He showed me around. I saw the team room and the locker room and I would lie if I said I wasn’t inspired going home from there.”

Bjerregaard becomes only the second Dane to win the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship following Thorbjørn Olesen’s victory in 2015.

The pair also share the same coach, Scotsman Hugh Marr, while Bjerregaard’s caddy is Jonathan Smart, who used to carry Danny Willett’s bag and won the Team Championship with Willett in 2016. The Dane’s first European Tour win was the Portugal Masters in 2017.

Tyrrell Hatton, winner in 2016 and 2017, said: “The momentum completely went after the tee shot on the 10th. I guess my putt on the last to get in the play-off sums it up, really. Just a massive gust of wind just knocks me off. I’m pretty disappointed because I had a five-shot lead at one point. It was in my hands.”

Australia’s Marcus Fraser started the day one behind Hatton but finished with a 77 to slip down the leaderboard. Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher was also in contention but his round of 75 left him eight-under par, seven adrift of Bjerregaard.

 

 

 

Round 4 Round Up

Hatton’s lead is cut

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Tyrrell Hatton remains on course for his third consecutive Alfred Dunhill Links title, though his lead has been reduced to two shots with six holes left.

Bogeys at 10 and 11 saw the Englishman drop back to 16-under par, with Dane Lucas Bjerregaard his closest challenger on 14 under.

Hatton’s Ryder Cup teammate Tommy Fleetwood is a shot further back on 13 under.

Hatton stretches lead to four

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Tyrrell Hatton closed in on his third consecutive Alfred Dunhill Links title by reaching the turn with a four-shot lead in his final round at St Andrews.

The 26-year-old Englishman picked up four consecutive birdies on holes three to six to move to 18-under par, four shots clear of his closest challenger, Dane Lucas Bjerregaard.

Australian Marcus Fraser dropped a shot to fall back into the group on 13-under par, which also included Hatton’s Ryder Cup teammate Tommy Fleetwood, Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher and US major winner Brooks Koepka.

Hatton claims three-shot lead

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Tyrrell Hatton made a strong start to the defence of his Alfred Dunhill Links title with birdies on holes three and four on the Old Course to move into a three-shot lead on 16-under par.

Hatton’s countryman Tommy Fleetwood was an early mover as he picked up two birdies in his opening four holes to move into a tie for second alongside Australian Marcus Fraser on 13-under.

Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher kept the home challenge on course with a birdie on his third hole to sit a shot further back on 12-under, alongside US major winner Brooks Koepka who birdied his first two holes. Italian Andrea Pavan and Dane Lucas Bjerregaard are a shot further back.

Fleetwood on the charge at St Andrews

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European Ryder Cup hero Tommy Fleetwood staged a birdie barrage on the Old Course as he narrowed the gap on third round clubhouse leader Tyrrell Hatton.

Fleetwood was putting together a wonderful round with seven birdies in his first 13 holes to be just one behind Hatton, with five holes to play.

Hatton had shot a wonderful 66 making a splendid start to his bid for a third historic Alfred Dunhill Links title, including two eagles at the 5th and 9th holes.

Like many before him he bogeyed the famous 17th Road Hole, but managed to finish on a high with a birdie on the 18th in front of the gathering crowds.

While Hatton and Fleetwood were lighting up the Old Course, the overnight leaders were finding Carnoustie a much tougher proposition. Lucas Bjerregaard and Andrea Pavan were both one-under-par for their rounds halfway through the back nine and beginning to lose contact with Hatton and Fleetwood.

However Scotland’s leading challenger Stephen Gallacher, winner in 2004, had an impressive 66 on the Old Course to put himself on 11-under-par and back in to contention.

US Open and US PGA champion Brooks Koepka was another putting a potentially excellent round together. He was eight-under for his round after 12 holes on the Old Course and it was looking as if Ross Fisher’s course record 61 might be under threat, but then he dropped a shot at the 13th.

Hatton makes a breathtaking start

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England’s Tyrrell Hatton made a blistering start to his bid for a third historic Alfred Dunhill Links title.

He birdied the second hole on the Old Course, then followed it up with an eagle three at the par five 5th hole to go to 11-under-par for the Championship, passing overnight leaders Lucas Bjerregaard and Andrea Pavan.

He added another eagle at the par four 9th hole to take him to 13-under-par for the Championship and a front nine score of 31.

Hatton was the first man out on the Old Course and is showing his intent in the most dramatic way.

But Hatton will be looking closely over his shoulder with Ryder Cup hero Tommy Fleetwood closing in with four birdies in 5 holes on the Old Course front nine.

Hatton makes a birdie, eagle start

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England’s Tyrrell Hatton made a blistering start to his bid for a third historic Alfred Dunhill Links title.

He birdied the second hole on the Old Course, then followed it up with an eagle three at the par five 5th hole to go to 11-under-par for the Championship, passing overnight leaders Lucas Bjerregaard and Andrea Pavan.

Hatton was the first man out on the Old Course and showed his intent in the most dramatic way.

He could also have birdied the 1st hole from six-feet, but his putt just missed.

Hatton’s sparkling 66 at Carnoustie

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A stunning 66 in the second round at Carnoustie kept Tyrrell Hatton tucked in one shot behind leader Lucas Bjerregaard and on course for a possible third straight Alfred Dunhill Links victory.

He produced a sparkling round which included four birdies and an eagle at the 14th Spectacles hole and no dropped shots.

Victory would put him alongside European Tour great Colin Montgomerie who also won three consecutive titles at the PGA Championship.

Denmark’s Bjerregaard, 27, who won the Portuguese Masters last year, shot a 65 at Kingsbarns to reach nine-under-par.

Alonside Hatton is Matthias Schwab who had a 67 at St Andrews, while one shot further back is England’s Ashley Chesters who had an impressive 64 at Kingsbarns.

Hatton eagle puts him in joint lead

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A brilliant eagle at the historic Spectacles hole at Carnoustie gave Tyrrell Hatton a share of the early lead in the second round of the Alfred Dunhill Links.

Hatton, bidding for a historic third straight Dunhill title, had started the day well with two birdies in the first six holes, then also birdied the 10th and the 12th before his eagle 3 on the par five 14th.

Denmark’s Lucas Bjerregaard, who had started the day on two-under-par like Hatton, also kept up a hot pace at Kingsbarns with six birdies by the 16th to share the lead.

Wallace back in share of lead

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Matt Wallace recovered from a slow start to join Matthias Schwab as early leaders on six-under-par in the second round of the Alfred Dunhill Links.

Playing at Kingsbarns, Wallace dropped a shot at his second hole, the 11th, but bounced back with birdies at the 14th and 15th.

Schwab played the first nine at St Andrews in three-under-par to share the lead, before turning for home.

Tyrrell Hatton, bidding for a third straight Alfred Dunhill Links title, began his second round at the difficult Carnoustie course with two birdies in the first six holes to be on four-under-par, two shots behind Wallace and Schwab.

Another early mover was Italy’s Eduardo Molinari, starting on the 10th hole at St Andrews. He birdied the 10th, 12th, 14th and 18th to be three-under for the Championship.

Hatton starts with early birdies

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Tyrrell Hatton, bidding to win a historic third straight Alfred Dunhill Links title, began his second round at the difficult Carnoustie course with two birdies in the first six holes.

It took him to four-under-par, two shots behind the early leader Matthias Schwab.

Another early mover was Italy’s Eduardo Molinari, starting on the 10th hole at St Andrews. He birdied the 10th, 12th and 14th to be two-under for the Championship.

Thursday 4th October 2018

The Wallace late late show

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Australian veteran Marcus Fraser had clung on to the first round lead of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship for several hours, when England’s Matt Wallace caught him with almost the last shot of the day.

Fraser had scored an impressive 68 at a very windy Carnoustie and had sat back and watched as many of the top names in world golf had failed to match him.

But Wallace, playing at St Andrews, sank a birdie putt on the famous 18th hole of the Old Course to share the lead.

Wallace has had a highly successful year, winning the Hero Indian Open, the BMW International Open and the Made in Denmark event, as well as finishing tied 19th in the US PGA Championship, his first Major, which included a memorable hole-in-one.

Earlier 40-year-old Fraser had said: “It was a good day. On Carnoustie it’s hard to keep it in play sometimes and all the bunkers are just in the perfect spot. Luckily enough I avoided all of them, apart from one.

“The more you play this tournament the more you fall in love with it. It’s an amazing event. I just love playing it every year.”

In a very congested leader board there are 22 players within three shots of Fraser and Wallace, including some of the big beasts of world golf.

Two-time winner Padraig Harrington is just one shot back, US Open and US PGA champion Brooks Koepka and Tyrrell Hatton, going for a third straight victory, are two behind, while many people’s favourite Tommy Fleetwood is a further shot back. All were playing at Kingsbarns.

Harrington, winner in 2002 and 2006, looked as if he might catch Fraser after three birdies in five holes, but he missed the chance for a fourth on the par five 9th hole, his 18th.

Koepka said of his 70: “I felt like I made a few mistakes. Just got to move on from it.”

And 2016 and 2017 champion Hatton added: “It was a tough day. I’m just glad to finish under par. I’m hoping Carnoustie will not be so windy.”

Aussie Fraser takes early clubhouse lead

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Australian Marcus Fraser was the early leader in the clubhouse with an excellent 68 at Carnoustie as the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship got under way.

Carnoustie is generally considered to be the most difficult of the three courses used by the Championship, but in breezy conditions Fraser was in control of his game and put together a highly competitive round.

He said: “I’m over the moon. On Carnoustie it’s hard to keep it in play sometimes, it’s pretty tight and all the bunkers are just in the perfect spot. You’ve just go to try to avoid those, and luckily enough, I avoided all of them apart from one. It was a good day.”

“The more you play this tournament the more you fall in love with it. It’s an amazing event. I just love playing it every year.”

Thailand’s Pachara Khongwatmai was one behind at the end of his round which featured a brilliant eagle two on the 453-yard, 2nd hole on the Old Course.

Earlier young Scottish professional Sam Locke had briefly led with birdies on the 2nd and 3rd holes at Kingsbarns, to the delight of his supporters. He eventually finished on one-over-par 73.

Sam came to prominence as the leading amateur at the 2018 Open Championship at Carnoustie, winning the silver medal. He turned professional immediately afterwards.

Old Course eagle gives Thai star lead

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Thailand’s Phachara Khongwatmai took the lead in the early stages of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship with a brilliant eagle two on the 453-yard, 2nd hole on the Old Course. It took the Thai star to four-under-par.

Starting at the 10th, Khongwatmai had played his first nine holes in 34 on a very breezy day in St Andrews.

It gave him a one shot lead over Australia’s Marcus Fraser who played his first nine holes at Carnoustie, generally considered to be the most difficult of the three courses used by the Championship, in a three-under-par 33.

Earlier young Scottish professional Sam Locke had briefly led with birdies on the 2nd and 3rd holes at Kingsbarns, to the delight of his supporters, but he later bogeyed the 7th to drop back to one-under-par.

Sam came to prominence as the leading amateur at the 2018 Open Championship at Carnoustie, winning the silver medal. He turned professional immediately afterwards.

Fraser and Kjeldsen early leaders

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Australia’s Marcus Fraser and Denmark’s Soren Kjeldsen shared the early lead in the first round of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

Both were playing at Carnoustie, generally considered to be the most difficult of the three courses used by the Championship. Starting at the 10th, they each had three birdies in their first seven holes.

Earlier young Scottish professional Sam Locke had briefly led with birdies on the 2nd and 3rd holes at Kingsbarns, to the delight of his supporters.

Sam came to prominence as the leading amateur at the 2018 Open Championship at Carnoustie, winning the silver medal. He turned professional immediately afterwards.

Super Sam delights Scots fans

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Young Scottish professional Sam Locke was the early leader in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, with early birdies at Kingsbarns.

To the delight of Scottish supporters, Sam, 20, birdied the 2nd and the 3rd holes in breezy conditions.

Sam came to prominence as the leading amateur at the 2018 Open Championship at Carnoustie, winning the silver medal. He turned professional immediately afterwards.