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Soderberg makes history by sprinting through 96-minute final round in Dubai

The previous fastest round on the European Tour was one hour and 59 minutes by Belgium’s Thomas Pieters.

Sebastian Soderberg (file pic).
Sebastian Soderberg (file pic).
Image: PA Archive/PA Images

SEBASTIAN SODERBERG MADE history today, the Swede completing his final round at the Dubai Desert Classic in a European record time of one hour and 36 minutes.

The 29-year-old was playing alone and first off after 71 players made the cut. With his brother Jesper on the bag, the duo hatched a plot to polish off the round as quickly as possible, their plan included sprinting after hitting each shot and between the holes.

Soderberg said he needed a buy-in from his brother and caddy to execute the plan.

“I thought about it last night, but the important thing was that my brother on the bag, he had the big job, because he ran non-stop pretty much,” Soderberg revealed. “He said this morning that he was excited about it, so we said ‘let’s do this’.”

The previous fastest round on the European Tour was one hour and 59 minutes by Belgium’s Thomas Pieters at the Italian Open last year.

On the PGA Tour, American Wesley Bryan needed just 89 minutes to finish his final round at the 2017 BMW Championship.

Soderberg, the winner of last year’s European Masters, added: “We decided that whenever it was a par-3, he would go and wait on the greens. On the par-4s and 5s, he would just leave me the appropriate clubs and go to the fairways.”

Soderberg hit his first tee shot at 7.10am local time (3.10am GMT) and sunk his last putt for par on the 18th at 8.46am. He made a birdie on the fifth hole and four bogeys in a round of three-over par 75.

Source: Omega Dubai Desert Classic/YouTube

After finishing the tournament at 10-over par total, Soderberg said: “I always wanted to jog and play as fast as I could. I struggled the last two days, so I figured it wouldn’t really hurt my game just to jog in between, and not think too much. I think three-over was quite a good result, with zero fairways hit.”

Sweating profusely after his pivotal part in the record-breaking bid, brother Jesper said: “It was fun, but I am never going to do that again. I actually have no idea of what he shot. I did not count anything.”

With conditions difficult once again at the Majlis course and a strong breeze blowing, Soderberg’s 75 actually improved his position by one midway through the round.

Gavin Cooney
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Lucas Herbert celebrated Australia Day with his first title on the European Tour when he beat South Africa’s Christiaan Bezuidenhout to win the tournament in a dramatic final round on the second play-off hole.

After hitting his second shot in the first extra hole into the water on the par-5 18th hole, Herbert made a terrific up-and-down for par, and then birdied the same hole a little while later. Bezuidenhout overshot the green with his second and failed to make his up-and-down from there.

Hindered by three bogeys in the opening four holes of his final round, Shane Lowry dropped two shots for the day to end the tournament on four-under, with Pádraig Harrington five-over.

© – AFP, 2020

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