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Soren Kjeldsen emerges victorious in Ireland at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open

Søren Kjeldsen ended his six year wait for a fourth European Tour title after he emerged victorious from a three-way play-off at Royal County Down to claim the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation.

The Dane birdied the first play-off hole, the par five 18th, to deny Austrian Bernd Wiesberger and Eddie Pepperell of England after all three players had finished the final round – played in demanding windy conditions – on two under par 282.

Kjeldsen had begun the day two strokes ahead of the field but tentatively secured his place in the play-off after shooting a final round 76. But the 40 year old, who had not won since the 2009 Open de Andalucía de Golf, held his nerve when it counted on the 18th for a second time as he saw his birdie putt rattle around the cup before falling in.

Pepperell had produced one of the rounds of the final day as he defied the windy conditions to shoot a bogey-free 69 – only four players carded under par rounds all day – to set the clubhouse mark. Wiesberger then joined the young Englishman with a final round 73, but they were left to wait on Kjeldsen who was a stroke ahead with two holes to play.

Kjeldsen had bogeyed both during his third round and when he three putted the 17th, he was left to hold his breath as a par putt at the 18th only just dropped to ensure he was a part of the play-off at all. He recomposed himself superbly, however, to take immediate control on the first extra hole. A fine drive saw him reach the green with his second shot while Wiesberger and Pepperell took longer routes.

Pepperell was unable to chip in to keep his hopes alive and when Wiesberger then failed with a 20 foot birdie putt from the back of the green, Kjeldsen was left to stroke home his winning putt – albeit after the ball rolled around the hole.

Pepperell earned the considerable consolation of a place at St Andrews for the Open Championship in July alongside fourth placed Tyrrell Hatton of England, while the final place went to Kjeldsen himself, putting the seal on a fine week’s work.

Player Quotes

Søren Kjeldsen: “I felt good before coming into the tournament. I played well the last two tournaments, but didn’t really have a chance of winning either of them. So to have the chance today was exciting; and nerve‑wracking at the same time, because I haven’t played great for a long time, and I think you saw down the stretch that my confidence is maybe not where it was a few years ago. But today will certainly help.”

Rory McIlroy: “From a Foundation perspective, I think one of the biggest things this week has done is give it global exposure. The number of countries that have seen The Irish Open this week, it’s been all over the world and it’s given us incredible exposure to show what we are trying to achieve and what we’ve been able to do for the cancer funds for children, and for Daisy Lodge. Also the support this tournament’s had from sponsors, fans, volunteers, and Royal County Down, it has been incredible. It has exceeded expectations.”

Complete Fourth Round Scores:

282 S Kjeldsen (Den) 69 70 67 76, E Pepperell (Eng) 74 72 67 69, B Wiesberger  (Aut) 72 67 70 73 *Kjeldsen won sudden-death play-off at first extra hole

283 T Hatton (Eng) 73 66 70 74, R Cabrera-Bello (Esp) 71 68 69 75,

284 D Willett  (Eng) 69 76 71 68, A Sullivan (Eng) 74 70 69 71,

285 M Fitzpatrick  (Eng) 71 72 70 72, M Kieffer (Ger) 67 76 65 77,

286 T Jaidee (Tha) 72 74 70 70, R Green (Aus) 72 72 70 72, R Ramsay  (Sco) 72 67 70 77, N Fasth (Swe) 71 73 67 75, A Wall (Eng) 72 71 69 74, B Dredge (Wal) 72 70 71 73,

287 J Van Zyl (RSA) 73 74 68 72, C Wood  (Eng) 70 69 75 73,

288 J Kruger (RSA) 73 73 71 71, L Bjerregaard  (Den) 73 73 66 76, L Donald  (Eng) 70 70 72 76,

289 A Noren  (Swe) 73 74 67 75, J Roos (RSA) 75 69 68 77, R Karlberg  (Swe) 70 76 74 69, B An (Kor) 75 71 67 76, T Fleetwood  (Eng) 71 75 69 74, D Fichardt (RSA) 76 71 67 75, J Parry (Eng) 72 70 72 75,

290 D Clarke (Nir) 75 72 72 71, J Barnes (Eng) 75 72 70 73,

291 M Tullo (Chi) 74 72 74 71, E Grillo (Arg) 69 75 73 74, G McDowell  (Nir) 72 75 69 75, R Fowler  (USA) 71 71 76 73, S Jamieson  (Sco) 73 72 73 73,

292 R Fisher (Eng) 74 71 74 73, T Lewis (Eng) 74 71 73 74, M Ford (Eng) 70 71 77 74, M Carlsson  (Swe) 72 72 73 75, M Nixon (Eng) 77 70 71 74,

293 A Hansen (Den) 70 73 76 74, F Zanotti (Par) 72 74 73 74, M Foster (Eng) 77 70 73 73,

294 S Lowry  (Irl) 72 74 71 77, T Aiken (RSA) 73 72 72 77, R Gonzalez (Arg) 76 67 75 76, M Fraser (Aus) 73 73 74 74, E Els (RSA) 71 73 78 72, L Slattery (Eng) 72 73 73 76, M Jiménez (Esp) 72 72 74 76, P Harrington (Irl) 67 73 78 76,

295 F Molinari (Ita) 71 73 79 72, S Benson (Eng) 74 71 72 78,

296 L Westwood (Eng) 74 72 74 76, R McEvoy  (Eng) 71 72 79 74, F Aguilar (Chi) 74 71 73 78, R Bland (Eng) 75 72 75 74, R Wattel  (Fra) 74 72 73 77, T Fisher Jnr (RSA) 70 74 75 77,

297 M Lampert (Ger) 76 71 70 80,

298 P Uihlein  (USA) 72 74 74 78, S Webster (Eng) 72 74 78 74, S Thornton (Irl) 71 76 71 80,

299 G Bourdy (Fra) 73 74 76 76, B Hebert  (Fra) 75 72 78 74,

300 S Hansen (Den) 68 76 79 77, A Dodt (Aus) 73 73 72 82, S Hend (Aus) 73 74 71 82,

 

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