Den­mark holds off chal­lenge to win World Cup

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

Den­mark fought off a three­p­ronged at­tack to win golf’s World Cup at Kingston Heath on Sun­day.

Soren Kjeld­sen and Thor­b­jorn Ole­sen held their nerve af­ter a four­shot overnight lead was threat­ened by China, France and Swe­den.

The pair com­bined su­perbly in the best-ball for­mat for a clos­ing 6un­der 66 to fin­ish on 20-un­der 268, four shots clear of France (63), China (65) and the United States (66) in a three-way tie for sec­ond.

Kjeld­sen and Ole­sen took turns to nail crit­i­cal birdie putts ev­ery time the lead was whit­tled back.

“Our men­tal strength is keep­ing calm and play­ing our own game. I wasn’t too wor­ried, I thought the birdies would come on the back nine and they did,” Ole­sen said.

Chi­nese duo Ashun Wu and Hao­tong Li crept within one stroke early on the back nine be­fore Kjeld­sen holed a birdie putt to re­store the buf­fer. Vic­tor Dubuis­son’s birdie at the par-three 15th pro­pelled France to just one shot back. And this time Ole­sen an­swered with a 7-foot putt, play­ing three holes be­hind the French, to ward off the leader­board dan­ger.

While Kjeld­sen and Ole­sen weren’t threat­ened by US pair Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker, Swe­den’s Alex Noren and David Ling­merth did move to within a shot - af­ter fir­ing a bril­liant 10un­der 62 to even­tu­ally fin­ish fifth at 15-un­der. But no­body could catch the Danes.

Ole­sen’s hot put­ter de­liv­ered birdies at Nos. 13, 14 and 15 to re­store the leader­board buf­fer. He also rolled in a curl­ing 30-foot birdie putt on the 18th.

“The psy­chol­ogy (of a team) is re­ally in­ter­est­ing to me. When you get a guy like this, on the back nine you feel you want to die for this guy,” Kjeld­sen said of Ole­sen. “I’ve never felt that be­fore and that team thing is amaz­ing.”

In golf terms, the Dan­ish pair formed an odd cou­ple. Ole­sen loves to keep check of leader­boards around the course and Kjeld­sen tries to avoid them.

“We play dif­fer­ent games, we don’t talk much and just play our shots and that’s help­ful,” Ole­sen said.

Swe­den, who started the four­ball fi­nal round nine shots back, could only pon­der what might have been with a more pol­ished four­somes ef­fort than the tardy third round 73.

“We re­ally played quite solid (on Satur­day) and ended up bo­gey­ing a cou­ple of the last four holes. So, 1over yes­ter­day could have been a cou­ple un­der and we would have re­ally been in the mix. But fin­ish­ing on a good note to­day, we’re not go­ing to dwell on the last few days. It has been a fun week,” Ling­merth said.

Italy’s Francesco Moli­nari and Mat­teo Manassero reeled off an 8un­der 64, but they were just too far back to get a glimpse of the lead­ers.

“We gave our­selves a lot of birdie chances and it could have been a re­ally low one. It was a low one with a good fin­ish, so we’re happy about that,” Manassero said.

“Ob­vi­ously, Francesco gave me the op­por­tu­nity to play and we had a lot of fun. I think this is a great for­mat and, ob­vi­ously, you’re rep­re­sent­ing your coun­try.”

Host na­tion Aus­tralia at least gave their home gal­leries a sub-par salute in a pol­ished round built on sev­eral pin­point ap­proach shots from Marc Leish­man be­fore Adam Scott ri­fled one to al­most tap-in range at the par-three 15th. They even­tu­ally de­liver a 7-un­der 65 to fin­ish on 11 un­der and tied ninth with Ire­land.

“It was nice to fi­nally see a few putts drop and some red num­bers on the leader­board. It’s un­for­tu­nate that we couldn’t start that on Thurs­day,” Leish­man said.

Wales pair Bradley Dredge and Stu­art Man­ley, in the first group onto the course, redeemed them­selves af­ter Satur­day’s hor­ror 80 with a flaw­less 9-un­der 63.

Eng­land’s Chris Wood and Andy Sul­li­van, who tum­bled down the leader­board af­ter a leaky back nine on Satur­day, also bounced back with a 7-un­der 65.

Ger­many’s Alex Ce­jka and Stephan Jaeger, equal last in the 28team com­pe­ti­tion at the half­way mark, hit back with a clos­ing 64 to fin­ish on 9 un­der and tied 13th.

Den­mark’s Soren Kjeld­sen, left, and part­ner Thor­b­jorn Ole­sen kiss their tro­phy Photo: AP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malta

© PressReader. All rights reserved.