Lucas Bjerregaard clinches Alfred Dunhill Links Championship title amid Tyrrell Hatton collapse
Defending champion Tyrrell Hatton sees four-shot lead at the turn evaporate as Englishman misses out on bid for third successive links triumph
Last Updated: 07/10/18 5:52pm
Lucas Bjerregaard compiled an excellent five-under 67 amid blustery conditions at St Andrews to clinch his second European Tour title with victory at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
The 27-year-old holed a monster birdie putt at his penultimate hole and, despite a closing bogey, finished one shot clear of English Ryder Cup duo Tyrrell Hatton and Tommy Fleetwood.
Hatton appeared set to join Tiger Woods, Ernie Els, Colin Montgomerie and Nick Faldo to have won a European Tour event three times in succession after opening a five-shot cushion, but the defending champion saw his advantage evaporate on the back nine before he missed a birdie putt at the last to force a play-off.
"I'm getting a little emotional," Bjerregaard told Sky Sports. "It's been a great year and now it's just a whole lot better.
"It didn't really look like I was ever in it today, it looked like Tyrrell was going to take off with it. I was trucking away at it. I've been playing well for a little while and I played really well today and I'm really pleased that it was enough."
Bjerregaard, beginning his final round four shots behind Hatton at the 18th with a shotgun start due to predicted high winds later in the day, opened with a birdie before a lengthy holed effort at the fourth was followed by further gains at the sixth and par-three eighth.
Did you know...
Lucas Bjerregaard also won the inaugural GolfSixes in 2017 for Denmark alongside Thorbjorn Olesen.
The Dane, whose previous Tour win came at the Portugal Masters in 2017, kept the pressure up with birdies at the 13th and 16th but a three-putt on the 17th Road Hole left an agonising wait for Hatton's attempted birdie a hole further ahead.
Hatton had started his quest to join an exclusive winners' club in blistering fashion as he fired four straight birdies on the front nine but the 26-year-old collapsed with victory in his grasp.
A week after contributing to Europe's Ryder Cup winning cause in France, Hatton followed a pair of pars with a first gain of the day at the third before following a 20-footer on the fourth with birdies at the fifth and sixth in driving rain.
The back nine proved a much more challenging test as a missed par putt at the 16th saw him drop his fourth shot in seven holes before he was unable to extend his hopes with a missed eight-foot birdie chance.
Fleetwood had made the first move of the day as the four-time winner holed from 18 feet at the second to get within two shots before another birdie at the fourth saw him turn in 34.
The European No 1 dropped his only shot of the round at the 15th either side of birdies at the 11th and 15th but, despite a valiant push, was unable to find a closing birdie which would have seen him into a play-off.
Tapio Pulkkanen followed an impressive eight-under 64 at Carnoustie - one of three courses used over the opening three rounds - with a three-under 69 to finish fourth at 12 under par.
Brooks Koepka and Tony Finau were in a group of four players a further shot behind after rounds of level par 72 and three-under 69 at the Old Course from the American Ryder Cup duo.
The next stop on the European Tour is the Sky Sports British Masters and there will be live coverage throughout the week beginning with the Hero Challenge from 6.30pm on Tuesday.