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

1989.

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

to play.

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.