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Dublin: 5°C Monday 18 January 2021

Alex Noren turns six-shot deficit into six-shot victory at lucrative Nedbank Challenge

The Swedish golfer secured his fourth European Tour title of a sensational season.

Noren is sprayed with champagne on the 18th green.
Noren is sprayed with champagne on the 18th green.
Image: Themba Hadebe

A REMARKABLE RECOVERY saw Alex Noren win the Nedbank Golf Challenge by six shots on Sunday to fire himself into Race to Dubai contention.

Noren had led by two going into day three of 2016′s penultimate European Tour event in Sun City, South Africa, only to card a three-over 75 and fall six shots behind Wang Jeung-hun, who rose to the top of the leaderboard with a blistering 64.

The South Korean could not maintain that momentum, though, struggling to a 75 of his own over the final 18 holes.

He was perhaps intimidated by the extraordinary efforts of his Swedish rival, who responded to the disappointment of tripping up on moving day by roaring to a nine-under 63.

Noren wasted no time asserting himself early on Sunday, starting with three consecutive birdies and then holing three more to reach the turn bogey-free in 30.

An eagle three at the 10th, followed immediately by yet another birdie at 11, saw him start down the home stretch in ominous fashion.

And the only dropped shot of the round, a bogey six on the 14th, could not halt the momentum, with a last, settling birdie on 16 easing the comeback man to an ultimately comfortable victory after the earlier thrills.

South Africa Golf The sweet taste of success. Source: Themba Hadebe

It was another high point in what has been a stunning run of form, Noren having won four times and finished as a runner up once in his last 11 events.

That streak means the 34-year-old is up to third in the Race to Dubai standings, behind leader and countryman Henrik Stenson and second-placed Danny Willett.

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Open champion Stenson finished outright eighth in Sun City, while Willett – this year’s surprise Masters winner – had to settle for a share of 11th.

The final event in the European Tour season will see the Race to Dubai winner crowned at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai next week.

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