Nordea Masters. Jubilant Jaidee Wins Play-Off

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   A very Jubilant Jaidee wins the Nordea Masters in a play-off for the title.

Thongchai Jaidee - Nordea Masters Champion  (Getty Images)

Thongchai Jaidee / Getty Images

Jaidee won the Nordea Masters title in Sweden after a three-man sudden death play-off, at the first play-off hole, with a birdie. At the end of regulation play he was tied with Stephen Gallacher and Victor Dubuisson at -16 under par for the tournament. Jaidee had posted that total earlier in the day, and had to sit in the clubhouse to see if anyone could catch him. Eventually it came down to last four groups before he knew he was in a play-off.

A final round of -7 under par, which included an Eagle on the 11th, saw Jaidee sit on top of the leaderboard and sitting back to see if he could be caught;

“I worked hard today, I started with three birdies in a row, had another one on six, then a good comeback on 11.We were nervous the last few holes – 16, 17 and 18 are tough holes, but 16 under was good enough for a play-off.”

“Then you never know in a play-off. A play-off was good for me as I finished early so I was very lucky. I thought 16 under would be second or third with the last hole being a par five. I had a good drive, then I knew I couldn’t  reach the green.  I played a great shot as I knew the pin was very tough, so I played the hole really well.”

“The golf course is wide open, you have to hit good golf shots and the weather helped a little bit.” 

Stephen whose missed birdie putt in the play-off was similar to the one he had made at the same hole 30 minutes earlier, said he was happy to get into the play-off;

“I had a good week and I was delighted to get into the play-off. I holed a lovely putt on the last after lipping out on both 16 and 17. Jaidee just hit a lovely shot there, or lovely three shots, on the last, which was playing really tough.” 

“I was hoping to peak for a couple of weeks. I knew I was playing well, so to finish fifth and then second is not bad. I’m delighted with that. Play-offs are fine margins. My ball got up to four-foot from the hole and then spun back. If the wind drops a bit instead of gusting and I’m stone dead. Play-off golf, you need that bit of luck, but the putt to get into the play-off was great.”

Victor had the opportunity to win on 18 in regulation play with a birdie, but he somehow three-putted from just off the green and missed his chance. Robert-Jan Derksen also had a final round of -7 under par 65, it was good enough to give him fourth spot on his own at -15 under par.

Home town hero Henrik Stenson is still waiting for his first victory at home, he could only manage a last round -1 under par 71, to finish in fifth place at -14 under par.

” It was a disappointing last day, apart from the first hole I got off to a good start and made a couple of birdies, but the bogey on the sixth was a momentum killer.” 

“It was one of those days when I didn’t quite get it going and missed a few chances and a couple of bogeys slipped onto the card too easily. You can’t afford that if you are going to win the tournament. I was still fighting and in with a chance on the last, but I just missed it in the wrong place. It left me in a bad spot.” 

“It would have been nice to win in front of home fans, but there will be more chances and there will be more chances to win other golf tournaments, so you can’t be too disappointed.” 

 

 

Nordea Masters. Henrik Joins Eddie at the Top.

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Henrik Stenson alights the home crowd by joining Eddie Pepperell at the top of the Nordea Masters leaderboard at the conclusion of round three.

 

Eddie Pepperell hit eight birdies on his way to a share of the lead at the Nordea Masters  Nordea 1

Eddie Pepperell and Henrik Stenson / Getty Images

Henrik shot -8 under par 64 in the third round of the Nordea Masters, to catch Eddie at the top of the leaderboard at -13 under par, in Sweden. Henrik the Worlds number two collected seven birdies, adding an eagle at the seventh, recording one bogey, at the par three 15th. He was keen to tell us how good the shot was that brought him an Eagle two at the 7th hole;

That was a great shot and it all started with the six iron on the previous hole. Last year I hit a lot of good iron shots that didn’t go in, so it was nice to finally see one go in. I knew it was going to be inside ten feet when I hit it and it landed about five feet away, had a little release and hop and went in.”

“The crowds have been great. I haven’t played in front of home crowds for a while and with the success I’ve had I really feel the support. I’m going to enjoy tomorrow and try to be up there tomorrow with nine to go and try to win this tournament for them.” 

“It would be great to do it. I’ve not won in Sweden before and obviously I would like to do that in my career. It seems like I’m going to have a chance tomorrow, but there is a long way to go and a lot of good players up there. I’m sure I need to stick to my play and be there when it really matters tomorrow.”

Eddie was no slouch in the third round carding a -7 under par 65, and is happy to be competing against Henrik in his own country;

“I had great fun out there, I felt comfortable out there. I’m really happy with myself, the game feels pretty good.” 

“It was a great start with three birdies in a row. I was flying and I missed good opportunities on four and five. Then I had a sticky spell with my swing, but hung in there. I would like to have finished with a birdie on the last two holes, but I’m not too unhappy about that.” 

“On 17 I had a good swing, bad putt. On 18 I just hit a slight pull and the wind just took it in the water, but I can’t be too disappointed as I committed fully. Henrik is tied with me so it is going to be a great day tomorrow, but I’ve just keep to keep focused on my game and do what I’ve been doing. If I do that I’ll have a shot come the last and I’ll enjoy it.”

“Henrik is one of the best players in the world, he’s in fine form and it is his home country. I couldn’t ask for much more really from a final round. It’s going to be really exciting for me and I’ve got to make it exciting for him.” 

Stephan Gallacher and Alvaro Quiros are tied in third place, at -12 under par, just one shot behind the leaders. It is a compacted leaderboard and it will be an exciting contest to see who comes out on top tomorrow.

 

Nordea Masters. Two Tied at the Top, 1st Round

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There are two players tied at the top of the Nordea Masters leaderboard after the 1st round at PGA National, Sweden.

Jens Dantorp enjoyed the luxury of the support of the home crowd as his opened his Nordea Masters account with a first round -6 under par 66. He has been joined at  the top of the leaderboard by Eddie Pepperell of England.

Jens Dantorp  (Getty Images)

Jens and the home support / Getty Images

He explained how important it was to have the support of the crowd, on his home course;

“This is my home course, so I try to play it as much as I can when I’m home. I can’t really explain how good the support I got today was. All my friends, all my buddies were here and there was so much applause. That was one of the biggest keys to my success today. It definitely helped me.”

“Peter Hanson has helped me a lot. It’s great to go to the States to see him over the winter, when you can’t practice here. He’s been a great mentor to me and has helped me through things, so I feel more comfortable in situations such as this.”

“This season has been solid. I’ve not quite had the results I would have wanted, but it will come I’m sure. It’s all new to me, so I”m taking it easy”

 Eddie is happy with his opening round, and also happy with his adjusted swing;

“I’m very pleased with that opening round, It was fairly windy out there so 66 is a good score. I played well today and I hit the ball better, which is the main thing for me. I’ve not been hitting the ball that well over the last couple of weeks, despite some good results. 

“Confidence is coming. The last two weeks have been good for me because I’ve been up there in the tournament at some point, but the Saturday in Spain I played some terrible shots, which I knew was to do with the swing.” 

“I’m trying to get that sorted and I went home after Monday and saw my coach on Tuesday, so I didn’t get here until Wednesday. I had a good lesson with my coach and today was as good as I’ve hit the ball in a long time.” 

The leaders are just one shot ahead of the chasing pack, Rikard Karlberg, Sebastian SoderbergStephen GallacherGareth Maybin and Daan Huizing. All these players shot -5 under par 67 in the first round.

World Number Two. Henrik Stenson, opened with a -3 under par 69, that was one better than his playing partner Thomas Björn and also defending champion Mikko Ilonen.

Euro Tour. Nordea Masters. Mikko Makes It His Trophy

Mikko Ilonen made the European Tour Nordea Masters his trophy with a last round -3 under par 69 for a total score of -21 under par.

Mikko Ilonen  (Getty Images)

Mikko Ilonen / Getty Images

Mikko, from Finland, claimed his first win for six years at the Nordea Masters on the Bros Hof Slott Golf Course in Sweden. He actually won this event in 2007, and said it was special to it again, apart from the bogey at the 12th hole;

“It’s pretty special, I could feel a lot of support from Finland, especially today. I just got ahead of myself with the first putt. I’ve said for weeks now it doesn’t really bother me if I make a bogey because I know I can make it up and it was the first time I went for the 13th in two. To bounce back this soon is really good, it’s really satisfying, but the show I saw in China. I didn’t lose the tournament, Brett won it, so hats off to him.Obviously I’ve been waiting for this moment for a few weeks now. People have been expecting me to win but most of all I’ve been expecting myself to win, so to pull it off here after those second places is very satisfying. It’s been a long time since I won but I haven’t forgotten how it felt. In life there are ups and downs and I’ve found a better balance now. Life is good, my family is good and golf is alright, so I can’t complain.”

Local boy Jonas Blixt. who plays most of his golf on the US PGA Tour where he won last year,  took second place. He was three shots back at -18 under par, a last round effort of -4 under par, 68, just not quite enough for him to get first place for Sweden;

“I’m pretty happy about the way I played this week, I didn’t win but I made a good run at it so that’s what I’m happy about. It’s been fantastic and I’m never going to forget this. It’s been nothing but amazing this week, it is cool to come home and have people screaming and cheering, and I don’t really get that in the States so much, it’s awesome.”

Austrian Bernd Wiesberger was in third place alone on -17 under par for the tournament. Italian Matteo Manassero finished in a tie for fourth place at -16 under par. He shared that score with Dane Thomas Björn and Swede, Rikard Karlberg.

 

Euro Tour. Nordea Masters. Mikko Makes A Move.

Mikko Ilonen, from Finland has made a move, on moving day, Saturday, to lead the European Tour Nordea Masters by two shots at the Bro Hof Slott Golf Course in Sweden.

Mikko Ilonen   (Getty Images)

Mikko Ilonen / Getty

Mikko shot a third round of -7 under par 65 to move to the top of the Nordea Masters leaderboard at -18 under par. He now has the chance to end his six-year wait for another Tour win, and is fully aware of the challenge in front of him. He also spoke about the luck he had with his Eagle at the 15th hole;

 It was a bit of a funny yardage for me, it was raining and I just tried to squeeze it in there and got lucky with it a bit. I need to shoot another low score and I can do it, but we’ve got eighteen holes to go and lots of other guys are still hunting me.”

Alexander Noren, a home favorite, is in second place after shooting a marvelous third round of -8 under par, 64 and is now just two shots back at -16 under par.

Alex was amazed by his putting prowess;

” I got lucky, I hit a lot of good putts and I holed a lot of them. I don’t know where it came from, amazing putting. I’ve played here a lot, I’m from an hour away, it’s the best course in Sweden and it is a beautiful place.”

A countryman of Alex, Jonas Blixt, and Italian Matteo Manassero, who had a quiet day, are tied in third place at -14 under par for the tournament.

Matteo looked to have overcome his slow start to the round when he had a hat-trick of birdies on the back nine. All that good work was undone on the 18th, going from rough to water and carding a double bogey six on the last.

Jonas fired in a bogey free round of -6 under par , 66 to give himself a chance of victory here. The crowd will be hoping one of the home boys will lift the trophy.

 

Euro Tour. Nordea Masters. Manassero Marches On.

Matteo Manassero marches on in the Nordea Masters at the Bro Hof Slott course in Sweden, leading the field by two shots at the conclusion of the second round.

Matteo Manassero   (Getty Images)

Matteo Manassero / Getty Images

Matteo shot a second round of  -7 under par 65, for a tournament total of -13 under par, and to lead the field by two shots. He carded five birdies on the back nine, just 31 shots. Matteo likes the back nine;

It was nice after the start to be able to come back and shoot another great score, so I’m glad the way the day has gone. I like that nine,  they are holes where you can gain or lose many shots, and if you can gain it’s a big gap. The conditions are absolutely perfect.”

In second place at -11 under par is Mikko Ilonen. Mikko was one of two players who completed the second in -9 under par, 63. The other golfer with a magical second round was Peter Whiteford, and his effort elevated him into third place alone with a total of -10 under par.

Peter said he had been playing well;

” I have been swinging pretty well over the past month but today was special. It was near perfect conditions and the golf course is in great shape.”

A piece of European Tour History was created when Australian Andrew Dodt became the first player ever  to have two holes-in-one in a single round. His reward, he just made the cut, on the number, and received a box of champagne from the tournament sponsors Nordea.

Andrew spoke of his achievement”

” The shot at the 11th, my second, kick-started things. I made a few more birdies in between, then a couple of bogeys and I was heading the wrong way when I got to the seventh, our 16th hole. It was an eight iron, felt a little bit heavy at the start, but right on line and it went in. I can’t get my head around it, I’m pretty proud to be the first one to do it. I had seven before today. The 11th I was pretty still and it was the perfect club for a six iron, little draw, and it was slam dunk straight in the hole. I didn’t putt very well today so I’m glad I was able to hole with a long club.”

I think it will take another magical round from someone to wrest this title from Matteo’s grip.

 

 

Euro Tour. Nordea Masters, Magical Manassero Tied For 1st Round Lead

 

Magical Matteo Manassero is in a tie for the first round lead at the European Tour, Nordea Masters, just a week after his win at Wentworth.

Matteo Manassero   (Getty Images)

Matteo Manassero / Getty Images

Matteo shot a first round of -6 under par 66 at the Nordea Masters on the Bro Hof Slott Golf Course in Sweden. He is tied at the top of the leaderboard with  Pablo Larrazábal.

Matteo said he was impressed with his unusual fast start, not showing any signs of tiredness after weeks effort:

” I’ve never started that well, it was a great start, I was making putts and to start like that was strange because I’m not used to it. I’ve been tired but I woke up and I felt good. It’s a tough course when the wind picks up so I think every afternoon is going to be hard.”

Pablo sunk a 40 foot birdie on his way to a 66;

” I played great, I was five under after ten. I made birdies on the par fives and held my score  it wasn’t easy. The golf course is playing okay this morning but you can make a double or triple bogey. I played safe when I had to and more aggressive when I could.”

The best of the scores all came from the morning session, before the wind got up. Jamie Donaldson completed a flawless 67 to sit alongside one of the home favorites, Fredrik Andersson Hed.  Chris Lloyd and Simon Wakefield matched that score and they are all in the clubhouse T3  at -5 under par.

The afternoons best score came from another home favorite, Alex Noren, the 2011 winner of this tournament. He also had a -5 under par, 67 to join the morning players at T3.

Alex stated that it was a tough front nine:

” It was a tough front nine, I hit the driver good but didn’t hit the greens I wanted. Then I made birdie on 11 and mentally it was a very nice birdie so it gave me a very nice rhythm. To the eye it looks like you can go for everything and what I’ve learned from this course is if you play a bit more conservatively on the par fives, if you’re on the green you will probably make a birdie.”

So it appears that the afternoon winds, and who manages them the best will have a good opportunity to win here in Sweden.