A wonder putt the length of the 15th green was the defining moment as Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen celebrated the biggest day of his golfing life with victory in the 15th Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews.
Olesen, who finished runner-up four years ago, shot a final round 71 for a two-shot win over Americans Brooks Koepka and Chris Stroud to finally take the prestigious title, but it was a close run thing.
Ahead by three at the start of the day, it looked as if Olesen was throwing his chances away with a double bogey six at the 2nd, where he wascaught under the lip of a bunker and had to come out backwards, and a bogey at the 3rd. He must have been thinking back to 2012 when he was level with Branden Grace with seven holes to go, but lost by two shots.
Immediate birdies at the 4th and 5th got him up and running, but it was not until the spectacular birdie at the 15th that he could at last relax and savour the moment.
Thorbjorn said: “Standing here with this trophy is unbelievable. Definitely more personal and very emotional. It’s been a very tough season for me and I would like to give special thanks to everyone who has been there for me.”
“Finishing off at St.Andrews is a great feeling. I kept believing I would be back here again. It was nice this week just to play three great rounds of golf, then hold it together in the last round. I kept being patient out there, kept trying to make fours and give myself chances for birdie. It was nice to get that one in on the 15th. I had a few good chances before that, so that was a big relief.”