Thorbjørn Olesen overcame a spirited challenge from David Horsey to claim his fourth European Tour victory in the Turkish Airlines Open at Regnum Carya Golf & Spa Resort.
Some sensational golf over the first three days in Antalya had given Denmark’s Olesen a seven-shot lead heading into the final round, but when Horsey rattled in a 30 footer on the ninth to turn in 29 that advantage was down to two.
England’s Horsey then birdied the long 12th to get within one, but Olesen matched his nearest challenger’s four there in the group behind and then added further gains on the 14th and 15th to pull clear once more.
A closing 69 saw the 26 year old finish on 20 under par.
“I actually slept alright the last couple of days,” Olesen said when asked about his huge overnight lead. “It was a weird feeling – I knew the guys today were able to shoot a low number so I had to make a few birdies. After nine holes guys were shooting really low numbers so all of a sudden there was a lot of pressure on.”
“I felt like I kept it pretty steady. Obviously the last four holes were tough mentally.”
Olesen won the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship last year after a run of missing 13 cuts in 18 events, and it was a similar story in Antalya after making just three of his last 12.
“It means a lot,” he added. “The last couple of months have been pretty poor and I haven’t played well and all of a sudden you’re leading by a big margin and it was difficult when you haven’t been playing well for that long.”
Horsey started the day as part of a five-way tie for second on 11 under, but three birdies in his first four holes took the Englishman to within four of the lead.
Olesen responded with his first gain of the day from 20 feet on the fifth, only for Horsey to ramp up the pressure with gains on the seventh and ninth.
And with Olesen finishing his back nine with a wayward drive followed by a three-putt for bogey, the gap was down to two to set up an exciting back nine.
However, once he birdied the 12th Olesen never looked back, with his only wobble a loose tee shot on the penultimate hole after which he produced a superb recovery from the trees to rescue par.
WITH THIS WIN:
- His fourth European Tour International Schedule victory in his 159th official European Tour event.
- Moves to 1,751,589 points (9th) in the Race to Dubai.
- Moves into joint second place in the current list of most consecutive winning years on the European Tour by active players, with three, dating back to the 2014 season. He moves alongside Jason Day, Rory McIlroy and Thongchai Jaidee. Justin Rose leads this list, with four consecutive winning years.
- Becomes the second Dane to win a European Tour event for three consecutive European Tour seasons.
- Has now won his four titles in four different countries: Italy, Australia, Scotland and now Turkey.
- At aged 26 years and 321 days becomes the youngest Dane to win their first four European Tour events.
- Maintains his 100% winning record of claiming all four of his European Tour titles when leading going into the final 18 holes. Led by seven shots after 54 holes in the Turkish Airlines Open. Led by three shots going into the final round of all three of his previous European Tour victories, 2015 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, 2014 ISPS HANDA Perth International and 2012 Sicilian Open.
- His seven shot lead after 54 holes is the biggest in the history of the Turkish Airlines Open.
- His three shot winning margin is the biggest in the history of the Turkish Airlines Open.
- His 72 hole winning total of 264 matches the lowest in the history of the Turkish Airlines Open.
- His 36 hole lead (six) and 54 hole lead (seven) are the biggest 36 and 54 hole leads of the 2016 European Tour season.
- The first Danish victory in a Final Series event.
- Becomes the first Dane to win on the European Tour in the 2016 season.
- The first Danish victory on the European Tour since Olesen himself won the 2015 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
- Extends his European Tour exemption until the end of the 2018 season.
- Gains his sixth victory as a professional.
Article courtesy of The European Tour