Final Round — European Tour — Alfred Dunhill Links Championship — St. Andrews Old Course (host) — Scotland —
Final round drama highlighted the conclusion of the European Tour’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland with the Old Course at St. Andrews hosting the final 18 holes.
England’s Oliver Wilson nursed a three-shot lead heading into the final round. After failing behind early, he rallied on the back nine to capture his maiden European Tour victory with birdies at the 16th and 17th.
Wilson, a runner-up nine times on tour, had just one Top 10 since the 2010 season and slipped to 792nd in the Official World Golf Ranking. The 34-year-old stood tall with World No. 1 Rory McIlroy and upstarts like Tommy Fleetwood and Richie Ramsay in the mix. A sponsor’s exemption was the only reason Wilson was in the field this week.
Wilson’s 17-under was a shot clear of Fleetwood, who missed a tying putt at the 72nd hole.
Richie Ramsay, up by two shots mid-way through the back nine in the final round, bogeyed back-to-back holes to open the door for several players. But, he posted 16-under but came up a shot short and T-2 alongside Fleetwood and McIlroy. Ramsay was a 66-1 pick as No. 150 in the world ranking at www.skybet.com, while Rory, of course, was the heavy favorite at 4 1/2-1 odds. Wilson was a super long shot at better than 175-1 odds.
McIlroy, who started the week with a sluggish 73, rallied back into contention with a 64 in round three. He co-led for a stretch in the final round, but a bogey at No. 17 derailed his chances at victory. Rory debuted a new set of irons this week using the Nike Vapor Pro blade model.
Chris Wood led by two shots mid-way through the final round until he was slapped with a two-shot penalty from earlier in his round. He failed to recover the momentum that moved him into the lead.
Fleetwood finished strong two weeks ago at the ISPS Handa Wales Open closing with four birdies and an eagle in his final five holes to record a T-2 effort behind Joost Luiten. He continues to knock on the door for the breakthrough victory.
Shane Lowry, Richard Sterne and Louis Oosthuizen, who fired a 62 in Saturday’s third round, finished 14-under overall logging T-6 efforts.
Other Golf News:
- Mirim Lee (15-under) chased down World No. 1 Stacy Lewis and went on to capture the Reignwood Pine Valley LPGA Classic in China. Two back to start the final round, Lee shot 4-under-69 to finish two shots ahead of Caroline Hedwall. For Lee, it was her second win this season. She won the Meijer LPGA Classic in August. Lewis, who was runner-up two weeks ago at the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic, shot 2-over and ended up T-6 behind Brittany Lang and Inbee Park.
- The European Tour visits Portugal next week for the Portugal Masters as the Race To Dubai year-long points competitions heats up. McIlroy continues to lead the way.
- Jay Woodson (4-under in the stroke play finale) won the Big Break Invitational — a multi-format event pitting reality show alumni against each other. He was bogey free on the round and won the $100,000 first prize. Tony Finau and Tommy Gainey finished T-3 two shots back. Emily Talley (3-under) was the top female in the end.
- The PGA Tour tees off its 2014-2015 wrap around season next week in Napa, California for the Frys.com Open. Jimmy Walker is the defending champion. Several Top 50 players are scheduled to compete including Ryder Cup participants Matt Kuchar, Hunter Mahan, Walker and Lee Westwood. Silverado Resort and Spa (North Course) hosts the event, which will have television all week on Golf Channel.
- Lee was a 40-1 pick to win on the LPGA Tour this week. She moved to 12th in the Race to the CME Globe standings, which climaxes in late November at the CME Group Titleholders event in Naples, Florida.