Winning Margin: Mathias Gronberg


Mathias Gronberg had one of those Sunday afternoons that professional golfers normally only dream about on his way to winning the Smurfit European Open at The K Club in August. A 36minute break in play caused by heavy rain and the threat of lightning allowed him to indulge in a brunch of salmon, veg and potatoes before resuming his rout of the field by firing a closing round 69 for 13-under-par 275 and a 10 shot winning margin over Miguel Angel Jimenez and Phillip Price, the biggest winning margin of the season.

Indeed, Gronberg's winning margin was just one stroke short of the European Tour record and matched Bernhard Langer's 10shot margin in winning the Irish Open at Portmarnock in 1987.

"He was playing a different tournament to the rest of us," agreed Jimenez, and the Swede's runaway success brought him a five-year exemption on the tour and a cheque for £208,300. "I promised my fiancee Tara that we would buy a Jeep if I had a few good weeks on the circuit, but I've had such a good week here that I'd have enough for four of them if I so wanted," remarked Gronberg.

An indication of Gronberg's form came at the par five 13th on the final day. He drove into the semi-rough on the right-hand side of the fairway and was left with 209 yards over trees to the green. He proceeded to play a five iron to 10 feet and rolled in the eagle putt.