Bjorn shoots 68 to win Estoril Open
Thomas Bjorn emerged from a four-year run without a victory to
win the Estoril Open by five shots on Sunday.
The 39-year-old Dane, who had led by three strokes overnight,
shot a final round 4-under 68 at Penha Longa to reach a 23-under
total of 265 and see off the challenge from Australian left-hander
Richard Green, who closed with a 70.
Bjorn’s winning total was only one stroke short of the 24-under
Portuguese record set by Colin Montgomerie at Quinta do Lago in
It was Bjorn’s 10th on the European Tour but his first since the
Irish Open at Carton House in 2006 and he admitted: “It feels it
has been a long time in coming. But I have to be pleased. When I
saw the weather conditions I thought if shot somewhere in the 60s I
would be difficult to beat and I produced a 68.
“Richard would not go away through the first nine holes but
14th and 15th holes where I made birdies turned it around for me. I
made some great shots at the right time.”
Green had cut Bjorn’s lead to just two shots at the par five
12th when the leader drew gasps from the crowd by missing a putt
from inside 18 inches.
But he then settled the issue with birdie putts from close range
at the par 14th and 5-foot on the 15th, opening up a five shot lead
that was not be closed.
Another Danish golfer Mark Haastrup, who had arrived in
Portugual after five missed cuts from his previous six tournaments
took third place for the first time on a main European Tour event
after closing with a 5-under 67.
That allowed him to overtake Irishman Damien McGrane, who had
equaled the course record 64 in the first round and after a run of
three successive birdies was only two behind Bjorn with six holes
McGrane, who won the China Open in foul weather in 2008, has a
reputation for playing his best under tough conditions.
But as the wind blew at up to 30 mph during the second half of
his round, he finished with six straight bogies and a 2-over 73 saw
him finish fifth.