Sweden save best for last to win World Cup
Golf World Cup: Robert Karlsson and Henrik Stenson combined to produce a scintillating performance in the final-round foursomes today to capture the Omega Mission Hills World Cup for Sweden.
Although they did not lead in any of the previous rounds, Sweden gradually improved upon each performance before saving their best for last to card a superb nine-under par 63 and comfortably secure a second-ever World Cup title for Sweden by three strokes.
The last time Sweden prevailed at the tournament was when Per-Ulrik Johansson and Anders Forsbrand won the trophy in 1991.
Spain, who had started the day tied for the lead alongside Australia, were unable to match their stunning nine-under 63 in second-round foursomes as Miguel Angel Jimenez and Pablo Larrazabal returned to the clubhouse at two-under 70 to finish in second place at 24 under overall.
Richard Green and Brendan Jones of Australia finished in a share of third place alongside Japan after a disappointing four-over-par 76 today for 18 under overall.
"I was starting to run out of tournaments, so it was nice to win this one. It has been a while," said Ryder Cup player Stenson, who despite enjoying a great season in 2008 had failed to secure any victories.
Sweden, featuring the tournament's highest-ranked players in Karlsson and Stenson, were four shots off the pace at the start of the final round but quickly made their move up the leaderboard with five birdies in a flawless run on the front nine that saw them climb alongside Spain into a share of the lead at the turn.
They then added two in succession from the 11th before moving three clear when Stenson chipped in from the back of the green for a birdie at the 14th.
Sweden added one more on the 555-yard par-five 15th - the Olazabal course's signature hole - and then made par on the remaining holes to return to the clubhouse at 27 under overall.
They were left to wait for Spain to complete their round as Jimenez and Larrazabal approached the last needing to card an eagle to force a play-off.
However, Larrazabal sent his tee shot into a bunker and although Jimenez recovered well, Spain could only putt for a bogey and confirm a World Cup victory for Sweden.
England's Ian Poulter and Ross Fisher finished strongly as a five-under-par 67 today meant they finished in sixth place.
However, the resurgence came too late after disappointing scores in the first two rounds all but ended their chances of a World Cup victory.
"We should have had a chance to win this golf tournament. That's what we come here for," said a disappointed Poulter.
"It didn't happen on Thursday and Friday and that's just such a shame to be so far out of the picture."
Paul McGinley and Graeme McDowell endured their worst round of the tournament for Ireland, carding a five-over 77 to drop to 16th while Scotland's Colin Montgomerie and Alastair Forsyth signed for a 72 today to finish seven under par overall, tied for 19th place.