Broberg wins BMW Masters in playoff
SHANGHAI: Sweden’s Kristoffer Broberg sank a 10-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole against Patrick Reed to capture his first European Tour title at the BMW Masters yesterday. Broberg and Reed both finished regulation at 17under 271 after a momentum-shifting afternoon that saw five players briefly share the lead on the back nine. Both had a chance to clinch the win on the 18th hole in regulation, too, but left their birdie putts short from 10 feet out.
Two other title contenders, Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee and South Korea’s An Byeong-hun, also barely missed birdie putts on the 18th to get into the playoff. Reed surged into a share of the lead with an eagle from the bunker on the par-5 15th, then birdied the 16th hole to move one stroke clear of Broberg. The American slipped up on the next hole, however, missing a 4-footer for par that just caught the edge of the hole and curled away. Broberg hit his tee shot in the playoff straight down the fairway for an easy approach to the pin, while Reed landed in the rough off the tee and dropped his second shot in the bunker.
“All you can ask for is to have a chance come down late yesterday and I’ve put myself in that position quite a bit recently and unfortunately haven’t gotten in the winner’s circle,” Reed said. “It hurts, but at the same time, I know what I’m working on right now is definitely the right thing because I’m moving in the right direction. Just have to close one out.”
Broberg has been runner-up three times on the European Tour over the past three years, but had yet to have a breakthrough win. Thongchai (71) and An (70) finished in a share of third place with Henrik Stenson (68) and Lucas Bjerregaard (70) at 16 under, while Justin Rose (67) and Paul Casey (69) were another stroke back in joint-seventh.
Sergio Garcia, who briefly had a share of the lead on the back nine, slumped down the stretch with a bogey and double bogey on his final two holes. He finished in a tie for 11th place after shooting a 73.
Bjerregaard had the early lead yesterday after making back-to-back birdies to start his round, but fell back after making costly mistakes on his approach shots on No. 8 and 12, leading to bogeys.
Broberg caught him first, followed by Casey after tapping in for birdie on the par-5 No. 13. Moments later, Garcia made it a four-way tie at the top with a 25-foot eagle putt on the same hole. Then, after Broberg holed a birdie on the 14th to take the outright lead at 17 under, Reed came out of nowhere to join him with a beautiful iron shot from the bunker on the 15th that bounced once and rolled straight into the hole for eagle.
Play was halted on Sunday during the final round of the BMW Masters golf tournament in Shanghai to observe a moment of silence for the victims of Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris.
At noon, tournament officials blew the horns on the course, normally used to halt play due to inclement weather, and all the players stopped momentarily, took off their hats and bowed their heads for a minute of silence.
“You realize there’s so much things more important than golf, for sure,” said France’s Benjamin Hebert, who wore a white hat with the words “Pray for Paris” written on it. “You wake up in the morning and you see that on Internet and TV and it’s just wow, it’s happened already this year, and you just don’t understand. “But you can’t stop living, actually, and that’s the thing in France, we won’t stop living.” — AP
SHANGHAI: Kristoffer Broberg of Sweden reacts while holding his champion trophy during the award ceremony of the BMW Masters golf tournament at the Lake Malaren Golf Club in Shanghai, China yesterday. — AP