Bjerregaard reigns at St Andrews as Hatton crumbles

Pádraig Harrington fired a closing round bogey-free 69 to finish in a tie for seventh

Lucas Bjerregaard of Denmark celebrates a birdie on the 16th during day four of the 2018 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at The Old Course in St Andrews, Scotland. Photo: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Lucas Bjerregaard of Denmark celebrates a birdie on the 16th during day four of the 2018 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at The Old Course in St Andrews, Scotland. Photo: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

 

Denmark’s Lucas Bjerregaard denied Ryder Cup winner Tyrrell Hatton a third straight Alfred Dunhill Links Championship title after a storming final round at St Andrews.

Hatton had taken a four-stroke advantage into a final round which was brought forward due to the threat of high winds in the area, but it was Bjerregaard who dealt best with the conditions.

The Dane’s five-under-par 67 earned him a 15-under total of 273, enough to win by one stroke from Hatton and his fast-finishing Ryder Cup team-mate Tommy Fleetwood, whose 69 earned him a share of second place.

Pádraig Harrington recorded another strong finish thanks to a final round 69 which included three birdies and no bogeys in the difficult conditions.

The three-time Major winner’s tied-seventh finish is his third top seven finish in his last four events.

World number 92 Bjerregaard had claimed his only previous tour win at the Portugal Open in 2017 and he needed to produce something special on Sunday to add to that here after beginning the day playing catch-up to defending champion Hatton.

But starting on the 18th hole under the ‘shotgun’ system in which all contenders began the final round at the same time, Bjerregaard immediately reduced the deficit with a birdie.

Nevertheless Hatton also began strongly and at one point held a five-stroke advantage before falling away with four bogeys on the back nine.

Bjerregaard still faced an anxious wait after a bogey on his final hole, the 17th, but Hatton missed a birdie putt on his last which would have forced a playoff.

“I’m getting a little emotional,” he said. “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.”

Losing US Ryder Cup players Brooks Koepka and Tony Finau both managed to seal top-10 finishes while Li Haotong and Allen Zhang won the team event by one shot at 35 under.

Collated fourth round scores and totals in the European Tour Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, Old Course St. Andrews, Carnoustie & Kingsbarns (Britain & Irl unless stated, par 72):

273 Lucas Bjerregaard (Den) 70 65 71 67

274 Tommy Fleetwood 71 67 67 69, Tyrrell Hatton 70 66 66 72

276 Tapio Pulkkanen (Fin) 76 67 64 69

278 Haotong Li (Chn) 75 69 68 66, Andrea Pavan (Ita) 72 63 71 72

279 Brooks Koepka (USA) 70 72 65 72, Tony Finau (USA) 73 66 71 69, Lucas Herbert (Aus) 70 70 69 70, Pádraig Harrington 69 72 69 69

280 Marcus Kinhult (Swe) 70 70 69 71, Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel) 72 70 67 71, Matthias Schwab (Aut) 69 67 71 73, Peter Hanson (Swe) 70 71 70 69, Tom Lewis 71 71 67 71, Andrew Sullivan 72 71 67 70, Stephen Gallacher 71 68 66 75, Nacho Elvira (Spa) 75 67 69 69, Marcus Fraser (Aus) 68 68 67 77

281 Robert Rock 76 69 67 69, Matthieu Pavon (Fra) 74 67 68 72, Brandon Stone (Rsa) 71 71 65 74, Lee Slattery 71 67 73 70

282 Jason Scrivener (Aus) 71 72 70 69, Ryan Fox (Nzl) 71 67 71 73, Chris Paisley 72 70 71 69, Edoardo Molinari (Ita) 73 66 68 75

283 Matt Wallace 68 71 74 70, Deyen Lawson (Aus) 76 69 68 70, Clement Sordet (Fra) 74 70 67 72, Matt Kuchar (USA) 73 68 69 73

284 Ross Fisher 75 68 66 75, Matthew Jordan 77 67 66 74, Mikko Ilonen (Fin) 74 63 75 72, Louis Oosthuizen (Rsa) 74 69 70 71, Pep Angles (Spa) 75 69 67 73, Julien Guerrier (Fra) 74 70 68 72, Renato Paratore (Ita) 72 68 73 71, Oliver Fisher 73 69 69 73, Thongchai Jaidee (Tha) 72 69 71 72, Jordan Smith 73 71 68 72, Benjamin Hebert (Fra) 72 72 64 76, Alexander Levy (Fra) 71 68 72 73

285 Adrien Saddier (Fra) 75 71 67 72, Trevor Immelman (Rsa) 75 69 68 73, Eddie Pepperell 75 71 67 72, Ashley Chesters 73 64 74 74

286 Soren Kjeldsen (Den) 72 68 72 74, Ernie Els (Rsa) 72 71 69 74, Jake McLeod (Aus) 74 70 68 74, Peter Karmis (Rsa) 71 67 72 76, Christiaan Bezuidenhout (Rsa) 74 70 68 74, Thomas Detry (Bel) 72 71 69 74, Darren Fichardt (Rsa) 77 63 73 73

287 Branden Grace (Rsa) 73 74 65 75

288 Oliver Bekker (Rsa) 71 68 71 78, James Morrison 73 70 69 76, Pablo Larrazabal (Spa) 75 69 69 75

290 Alejandro Canizares (Spa) 74 71 68 77

291 Thomas Pieters (Bel) 73 71 68 79

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