Dunhill Links: Lucas Bjerregaard wins at St Andrews as Tyrrell Hatton falters on back nine

Lucas Bjerregaard celebrates winning the Dunhill Links at St Andrews
Lucas Bjerregaard celebrates winning the Dunhill Links at St Andrews

Denmark's Lucas Bjerregaard admitted he thought he had blown his chances of victory before a dramatic late twist saw him seal victory in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews.

Final leaderboard

  • -15 Lucas Bjerregaard
  • -14 Tyrell Hatton, Tommy Fleetwood
  • -12 Tapio Pulkkanen
  • -10 Andrea Pavan, Haotong Li
  • -9 Brooks Koepka, Tony Finau, Padraig Harrington, Lucas Herbert

Day four report

Denmark's Lucas Bjerregaard admitted he thought he had blown his chances of victory before a dramatic late twist saw him seal victory in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews.

Bjerregaard's five-under-par 67 earned him a 15-under total of 273, enough to win by one stroke from Tyrrell Hatton and his fast-finishing Ryder Cup team-mate Tommy Fleetwood, whose 69 earned him a share of second place.

But it did not tell the whole story of a day which began early under the 'shotgun' system - in which all contenders start at the same time due to adverse weather - and with Hatton holding a four-stroke advantage.

Seeking his third consecutive win in the event, Hatton's game held up through the first half of his round before four bogeys on the back nine gave the fast-finishing Bjerregaard a chance.

Despite missing birdie chances on the 14th and 15th, and finishing his round with a bogey on the 17th, the Dane still did enough to claim only his second career tour title when Hatton missed a birdie putt to force a play-off.

Bjerregaard said: "It wasn't until the last few holes that I thought I had a chance.

"It was tough out there, the conditions weren't easy and it never really looked like I was in it much until the end.

"I missed a couple of putts on the 14th and the 15th which I thought were crucial. But I got up on the green on 16 and saw the leaderboard had changed a little bit."

Hatton at one point held a six-stroke advantage over Bjerregaard as he looked to become the first man to win three consecutive titles at the same European Tour event since Nick Faldo at the Irish Open in 1993.

And despite his game dramatically falling away, he still had a chance to force Bjerregaard into a play-off after the Dane had to settle for a bogey at the difficult 'Road Hole'.

But Hatton's bad day was complete when he rolled his 12-foot putt past the hole, confirming Bjerregaard's first tour title since his triumph at the 2017 Portugal Masters.

"I've seen a few putts this week that were super-fast because of the wind, and obviously he misjudged it and it was a shame to finish like that," added Bjerregaard. "But I'm just happy that it was enough."

Day three report

Ryder Cup winner Tyrrell Hatton fired a 66 at St Andrews to put himself on course for a third consecutive victory at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

Just six says after being part of Europe's thumping 17.5-10.5 victory at Le Golf National, the Englishman stood on the brink of making more history as he looked to become just the second Englishman after Sir Nick Faldo to win the same European Tour event three years in succession.

Faldo achieved the feat at the Irish Open between 1991 and 1993, while the last player to do it was Tiger Woods, who won the WGC-Invitational and WGC-Championship events from 2005 to 2007.

Hatton will enter the final day at St Andrews on 14 under par, one shot clear of Australian Marcus Fraser and three ahead of countryman and fellow Ryder Cup winner Tommy Fleetwood and Scottish 2004 champion Stephen Gallacher.

"I'm certainly going to go out there tomorrow and give it my best," Hatton told europeantour.com. "To join that club would be so special.

"We're in a good position going into the final day and that's all we can ask for."

Hatton led by three at the turn after he birdied the second, eagled the par-five fifth and then made another eagle on the par-four ninth after driving the green.

When he bogeyed the 12th, his lead was cut to one by Fleetwood, who had made gains on the first, second, third, fifth and eighth, but Hatton birdied the 13th and 14th to lead by three again.

Fleetwood birdied the 10th and 12th and a Hatton bogey on the 17th saw him caught, but he birdied the last before Fleetwood three-putted the 16th and 17th from distance to slip back.

Fraser recovered from a bogey on the second with six birdies in a 67 at Kingsbarns, while Gallacher birdied the 10th, 12th, 16th, sixth, seventh and ninth at St Andrews.

Dane Lucas Bjerregaard and Italian Andrea Pavan were at 10 under, a shot clear of a group of five players containing reigning US Open and US PGA Championship winner Brooks Koepka.

Day two report

Ryder Cup winner Tyrrell Hatton is just a shot off the lead as he looks to become the first player since Tiger Woods to win the same European Tour event for three years in succession.

Hatton carded a second round of 66 in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at Carnoustie, traditionally the toughest of the three courses used for the £3.8million pro-am event.

Four birdies and an eagle from six feet on the par-five 14th gave Hatton a halfway total of eight under par, with Denmark's Lucas Bjerregaard and Italy's Andrea Pavan setting the pace on nine under thanks to rounds of 65 and 63 respectively at Kingsbarns.

Hatton was part of Europe's triumphant side at Le Golf National in Paris last week where Woods, who won the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational from 2005 to 2007, failed to secure a point from four matches.

"I enjoy this event, I've got good memories here and I'm just trying to put up as good a defence as possible," said Hatton, who is now 55 under par for his last 10 rounds in the event.

The 26-year-old Englishman admitted on Thursday that the Ryder Cup celebrations were "messy" and ended with him falling asleep next to the toilet in his hotel room at 4am, but added on Sky Sports: "It's a lot different this week.

"Last week you have so much adrenaline and such an atmosphere to play in and this week is the other end of the scale. The crowds aren't too big here. It's a much more relaxed style of golf, we're playing with the amateurs and we have a good time which is what this week is all about.

"And we got Carnoustie on a nice day today, which helps a lot. This is the toughest of the three courses, especially when the wind blows so we are all fortunate to get pretty calm conditions."

Austria's Matthias Schwab and Australia's Marcus Fraser are alongside Hatton on eight under, with Ryder Cup team-mate Tommy Fleetwood two shots further back after a 67 at Carnoustie.

Fleetwood's record-setting partner in Paris, Francesco Molinari, is not in the field but the Italian's brother Edoardo is just four shots off the pace following a 66 at St Andrews.

American Tony Finau, who beat Fleetwood 6&4 in Sunday's singles at Le Golf National, is also five under, while team-mate Brooks Koepka is seven shots off the lead on two under.

Day one report

Australia's Marcus Fraser survived "brutal" conditions to claim a share of the lead with England's Matt Wallace after the first round of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

On a day when strong winds made scoring difficult and only 24 players in the 168-strong field broke par, Fraser carded a four-under 68 at Carnoustie, traditionally the hardest of the three courses used for the pro-am event on the European Tour.

Wallace, who missed out on a Ryder Cup wild card despite three wins this season, including the final qualifying event in front of Europe captain Thomas Bjorn, compiled his 68 on the Old Course at St Andrews.

Former Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley and fellow Irishman Padraig Harrington, who is favourite to follow in Bjorn's footsteps in 2020, both shot 69 at Kingsbarns to lie a shot off the lead alongside Phachara Khongwatmai, Jinho Choi and Matthias Schwab.

Defending champion Tyrrell Hatton, who is seeking a third straight win in the event, is a shot further back on two under alongside reigning US Open and US PGA champion Brooks Koepka.

Hatton's Ryder Cup team-mate Tommy Fleetwood recovered from a poor start to play his last eight holes at Kingsbarns in four under par to record an opening 71. Tony Finau, who beat Fleetwood in the singles in the Ryder Cup on Sunday, carded a 73 at the same venue.

Fraser, who carded five birdies and one bogey at this year's Open venue of Carnoustie, told Sky Sports: "It's brutal out there. It's probably the toughest wind I've played this course in today. It was nice to play pretty steady and hole a few putts.

"Downwind was just as hard as into the wind, it was really tricky to control it and try to get the right distances. We were out by probably 20-30 yards some times but it just can't be helped. You get a firm bounce and it just takes off.

"And the cross breezes as well down those last two holes, the ball just drops out of the air and doesn't fly. It's hard to gauge but I felt like I did a really good job of it today."

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