British Masters: Marcus Kinhult 'speechless' after first win
Last Updated: 12/05/19 5:41pm
Marcus Kinhult was left "speechless" after birdieing the final two holes to snatch a one-shot victory at the Betfred British Masters.
The 22-year-old Swede looked to have blown his chance of claiming a maiden European Tour victory at Hillside after losing the lead with back-to-back bogeys at the 15th and 16th in the final round.
However, he recovered with birdies at the final two holes to edge out his playing partner Matt Wallace, who missed birdie putts at the 17th and 18th, defending champion Eddie Pepperell and Scotland's Robert MacIntyre.
"I'm speechless, I don't know what happened on the last two holes," said Kinhult, who won the prestigious Lytham Trophy as an amateur in 2015 but had missed his last four halfway cuts.
"I was behind Matt and he looked really solid but I just managed to make those last two birdies - it's incredible.
"There's a lot going through my mind, a lot of emotions and I am just so happy that I managed to handle those pretty well. It's really special. I have been waiting for this moment for 20 years.
"This game is so weird. It's the small margins. I've felt alright the last couple of weeks but just couldn't make a cut - but I came here and got off to a good start and just kept the momentum throughout the week.
"Knees, hands, everything [was knocking at the 18th). I've never felt that pressure before. It's different and I'm just happy I made the putt.
"It was a great battle today and it's a great tournament, great golf course, great hospitality, great crowds. Thank you everyone, it's been an amazing week."
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Pepperell began the day five shots off the lead shared by Kinhult and Wallace, but carded six birdies in a flawless 66, the joint-lowest score of the day, which also included what looked to be a vital up-and-down for par on the 18th.
"It was a good round, very steady really and the whole week I only made two bogeys actually, which for me is remarkable," Pepperell said.
I really like his swing, and not at all surprised to see Markus Kinhult win. 👌🏼🏌🏼♂️ Cracking player. Thanks to everyone for the support this week, tried my best to defend, but clearly the lack of Dairy Milk held me back! @TommyFleetwood1, you are first class in every way. 👍— Eddie Pepperell (@PepperellEddie) May 12, 2019
"I kind of set myself a target of 17 under at the turn and was not far off that. But fair play to Marcus. He's been a good player for a while, so it's good to see."
MacIntyre recovered from a double-bogey seven on the second to storm home in 31, the 22-year-old left-hander hitting a five-wood to three feet on the 17th and a six-iron from 203 yards to a similar distance on the last.
"To finish that way was fantastic. I had to go for it in the end," MacIntyre said after his best finish on the European Tour. "It was all or nothing. We were between clubs at 17 but that wind suited us. That's the best shot I've hit in a long time.
"I had been there or thereabouts but never managed to get in the thick of it and I was disappointed about that. Today couldn't have been a better day to change that, playing with Tommy (Fleetwood) and in front of those big crowds. It was brilliant."