British Masters: Key Takeaways From Day 4
As Alex Noren closed out his third win of the season, what are the three biggest takeaways from Sunday at the British Masters?
With a combination of a number of big name European players in attendance and some of the European Tour’s most in-form players continuing to impress, Sunday at the British Masters saw the cream rise to the top of the leaderboard.
Once the host of a WGC event, The Grove proved to be an excellent venue as the British Masters continued its resurgence this week behind a variety of innovative side events, and with Luke Donald as this year’s tournament host.
With the course providing plenty of birdie opportunities, balanced by punishment for those who end up out of position, a thrilling final round was the inevitable outcome.
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In spite of excellent form that has seen him pick up a couple of recent wins, even when Alex Noren had what looked to be a commanding lead, the course did enough to ensure that the tournament remained up for grabs right until the very end.
In spite of a gallant effort from Bernd Wiesberger, as well as runs at the lead from Lee Westwood, Richard Bland and Tommy Fleetwood, Noren showed his class in holding on for another big win as he continues to climb in the world game.
What were the key takeaways from the final day’s play and the event overall? Let’s take a closer look.
Alex Noren Reaching His Full Potential
Having picked up his first win on the European Tour way back in 2009, Sweden’s Alex Noren has had more than his fair share of ups and downs in the years that have passed since. Finally, at the age of 34, it seems as if Noren is reaching the potential he was once lauded for though.
Not only has Noren now picked up three wins since July, but he has managed to do so in some of the more prestigious events on the European Tour calendar. Noren knows how to handle the pressure of being in contention, and at present, his game is well designed to put him in regular position to win.
With this win Noren will likely jump into the top-20 of the world rankings, while also making himself as one of the men to beat as the stakes ramp up and the Race to Dubai edges toward its conclusion. This could yet be the tip of the iceberg for Noren, but at the very least, he’s put himself in position to be among the very best in the world again.
Bernd Wiesberger In Top Form
If a few more friendly breaks had fallen his way in recent weeks, Bernd Wiesberger could have been the player generating buzz for a slew of recent wins. Although the Austrian hasn’t won since the 2015 French Open, his recent form has shown that he’s close to the top of his game.
Having finished second at the KLM Open on top of his runner-up spot here at the British Masters, Wiesberger also has a fifth and a seventh placed finish to his name across his last four starts on the European Tour.
It would seem likely that a win is just around the corner for the talented 31-year-old, but regardless, finding that kind of high level consistency is a big step forward from the troubles that have plagued him at other times of his career.
Richard Bland Still Waiting On Win In Spite Of Stellar Play
It’s becoming somewhat farcical to think that considering just how well Richard Bland has played this summer, he’s still waiting for his first European Tour win of what has been a journeyman professional career.
Bland has finished no worse than 27th in his last nine events, including four top-10s and a number of agonizing near misses that were a result of the Englishman struggling to close the deal on a Sunday.
The most impressive aspect of Bland’s consistently good play has been the way in which he has managed to maintain it without any obvious signs of fatigue. If that continues, his day may still arrive in the coming weeks.
British Masters – Day 4 Leaderboard
1 – Alex Noren – 69 (-18)
2 – Bernd Wiesberger – 67 (-16)
3 – Lee Westwood – 67 (-15)
T4 – Richard Bland – 71 (-13)
T4 – Graeme McDowell – 68 (-13)
T4 – Alexander Levy – 67 (-13)
T4 – Peter Hanson – 70 (-13)
T4 – Tommy Fleetwood – 70 (-13)
T9 – Tyrrell Hatton – 68 (-12)
T9 – Richard Sterne – 71 (-12)
The European Tour returns to action on Thursday with the Portugal Masters where Andy Sullivan is defending champion.
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