Ludvig Aberg claimed a maiden victory in only his second DP World Tour event as a professional courtesy of a stunning finish at the Omega European Masters.
The former World Amateur Number One confirmed his status as one of golf’s rising stars with a closing 64 at Crans-sur-Sierre to deny Matt Fitzpatrick a hat-trick of titles in the Swiss mountains.
Sweden’s Aberg birdied four of his last five holes to finish on 19 under for the week, two ahead of compatriot Alexander Björk, with long-time leader Fitzpatrick eventually finishing in a tie for third with Scotland’s Connor Syme after a bogey at the 18th.
The 29-year-old former U.S. Open Championship winner could at least console himself with a place on Luke Donald’s Ryder Cup team after taking the last automatic spot via the World Points list, with Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre guaranteeing a debut in Rome by claiming the last remaining European Points list place. Aberg will no doubt give Luke Donlad a big decision to make as he announces his six wildcard picks tomorrow, Monday 4th September.
After a bogey at the first left him three off the pace, the 23-year-old rolled in a 14-footer for birdie on the fifth.
A tee shot to five feet at the eighth and a delicate up-and-down on the ninth saw Aberg turn in 33, although he still had work to do to catch overnight leader Fitzpatrick at that stage.
Four successive pars on the inward nine looked to have ended his chances, but Aberg had other ideas as he cashed in on the back-to-back par-five 14th and 15th, rolled in a 15 footer on the 16th and stiffed his approach to tap-in range at the 17th.
He might have had another birdie on the daunting 18th but came up a touch shy with his putt from 13 feet.
“I don’t even know where to start, it’s a pretty surreal feeling to be honest,” Aberg said. “Obviously super, super happy.
“I’ve always had that belief that I’ve been able to do it, but to do it is pretty cool.
“I started the day three back, I knew Matt was playing well so I needed to put a big score up. Felt I was playing pretty well all day, just wasn’t making any putts. Got it going on the back nine.
“I made a nice six, seven footer on 14 and that was a big moment for me. I needed to take care of the par fives and I did today.
“To be able to put together four rounds here in the mountains, where it’s so beautiful, it’s a dream come true.
“It’s a testament that I’m doing good stuff. Winning any tournament is a lot of fun, to do it this quickly (as a professional), I’m over the moon.”
Björk also finished strongly with three birdies in his last four holes to card a 66, while Syme signed for a 67 and Fitzpatrick a 69 featuring four birdies but also three bogeys – all of them coming in the last four holes.
Padraig Harrington finished in a tie for 20th after carding a Sunday 65 as Tom McKibbin finished with eleven birdies in his last fourteen holes to card a closing 62 as both prepare for the Horizon Irish Open at The K Club. John Murphy closed out his week with a level par 70 to sit in a tie for 63rd for the week.