Efdors lands Scottish title in fine style

 

Swede Johan Edfors, fired up by a third-round horror show, launched a spectacular run of birdies to win the Scottish Open title with a closing eight-under-par 63 at Loch Lomond today.

The 30-year-old from Varberg became the first triple winner in Europe this season after finishing with a 13-under total of 271.

Edfors, who started the round six shots off the pace, reeled off six birdies in a sizzling outward half of 30. He maintained his charge with a birdie hat-trick from the 12th before dropping his only shot of the day at the 17th.

"I was very upset with myself after yesterday's 74," he told reporters after picking up a cheque for £400,000. "I went out and played rubbish, horrible.

"I worked for an hour after the round and got off to a good start today with a birdie on two and then made it four birdies in a row on seven and felt good."

It was a day of disappointment for Darren Clarke, who shared the overnight lead with his close friend Thomas Bjorn on 11 under. However, the pair could only manage closing 72s as both dropped back to 10 under and into a tie for fifth alongside Benn Barham (70) and last year's winner Tim Clark (69).

England's Luke Donald (66), Argentina's Andres Romero (69) and Charl Schwartzel (67) from South Africa tied second, two shots behind Edfors.

Romero had a chance to tie Edfors with a birdie at the last but he bunkered his approach and made bogey. Consolation for the Argentine, though, was the final British Open qualifying place for the highest non-exempt player. Edfors was already exempt after winning the TCL Classic in China in March and the British Masters in May.

"I have already won twice this year, more than I could have dreamt of at the beginning of the year," said Edfors. "But I felt really tired about six weeks ago, after I won the second time, so I took four weeks off.

"This is like a new start, a new season for me. It feels great to perform as I did today," added Edfors, who was forced to take drastic action when he lost his tour card in 2004.

"I realised I wasn't good enough. I had done it my way until then but I decided I was going to talk to a couple of people and make changes.

"I felt I couldn't play good enough on the courses on the European Tour so I started with two new coaches and we are changing everything. There's a long way to go and it is a work in progress."

The previously disorganised Edfors recruited Richard Fors as a swing coach and Lars Evertzon to work on the mental side of the game.

"Before I just did what I felt like, hit a few balls, a few putts and some bunker shots," said the Swede. "Now I have much more structure in my whole life.

"From being very disorganised to getting more like an organised person at least, that has probably helped me the most."

Edfors said Evertzon, in particular, made him work hard. "I need someone to be there with a whip and Lars has got a big whip," he said after improving his chances of making the Ryder Cup team in September.

Damien McGrane struggled to complete what would have been his best week of the year as the signed for a 73 to drop back to six under. Still the Meath professional finished in a tie for 24th.

Paul McGinley's 74 left him on one under while David Higgins' 80, for and 11-over aggregate, was the worst Irish score on a day when the home quartet all lost ground with poor finishes.