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Dublin: 0°C Friday 27 November 2020
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Soren Kjeldsen survives a playoff and extreme conditions to win the Irish Open

Watch his short winning putt on the first extra hole nearly lip out before dropping.

Soren Kjeldsen dropped four shots on the front nine but still managed to pull off the victory.
Soren Kjeldsen dropped four shots on the front nine but still managed to pull off the victory.
Image: PA Wire/Press Association Images

DENMARK’S SOREN KJELDSEN has won this year’s Irish Open at Royal County Down after a dramatic play-off with England’s Eddie Pepperell and Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger.

Kjeldsen took a two-shot lead into the fourth day of the tournament as he bid to claim his first European Tour title in six years. But severe weather conditions, including winds gusting up to 40mph, made it very difficult for the players.

Despite being four over par, the Dane was still two-shots ahead of the field as he stepped onto the 17th tee. Unfortunately, a three-putt bogey would leave him needing a birdie on the 18th to win his fourth European Tour title. It wasn’t to be, however, and in the end he did well to get up and down for a closing 76 to join the playoff.

KBk1aX9 This is how close Kjeldsen came to missing his putt on the 72nd. Source: Imgur

Pepperell had earlier completed a bogey-free round of 69 to set the clubhouse lead on two-under. The final place in the play-off was taken by Wiesberger, who had a putt from eight feet to get to three-under on the 18th but missed.

“It’s very hard [to sum up how I feel], ” Kjeldsen said afterward. “My game has not been in good shape and turning 40 you start to wonder if that’s it – but now I’m standing here with this [trophy].”

“I’ve never been as nervous as today – the other tournaments I won I didn’t feel like that. I didn’t look at the leaderboard until I started dropping shots and it was nice to see I wasn’t the only one struggling.

“It’s ridiculous. It’s like I’m dreaming – but I don’t want anyone to wake me up.”

World No.1 Rory McIlroy, who disappointingly missed the cut, was on hand for the presentation and congratulated the winner.

“I’m very proud to be associated with what has bee an incredible event – and to bring it to Northern Ireland makes me immensely happy.

“The fans have been amazing and Soren is a very worthy winner.”

 
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Donal Lucey

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