Journeyman Caldwell Claims Victory In First Mixed European Event
Northern Irishman Jonathan Caldwell produced a stunning birdie on the last hole to claim his maiden European Tour title at the 2021 Scandinavian Mixed hosted by Henrik Stenson and Annika Sorenstam.
Caldwell entered the final day at Vallda Golf and Country Club three shots off the lead but closed with a 64, the best round by any player this week, to get to 17 under and set the target.
Spaniard Adrian Otaegui had a chance to win on the last but three putted the 18th for the only bogey of his 67 to end one shot off the lead.
In a week when the European Tour and the Ladies European Tour broke new ground with a field of 78 men and 78 women playing over the same course for the same trophy, England’s Alice Hewson carded a closing 69 to finish third at 15 under, two shots clear of Australian Scott Hend and Englishman James Morrison. Hewson was the leading female in this event that saw the women playing a course 922-yards shorter than the 7,060yard layout presented to the men.
Caldwell began his move up the leaderboard by holing from 16 feet on the third and then making two putt birdies on
the fourth and sixth before a 35 footer on the eighth had him in a share.
The par fives were proving absolutely key with Otaegui making his birdie at the tenth but Caldwell drove the 14th and rolled home from 40 feet for an eagle to gain a two shot lead.
Otaegui briefly took the solo lead with yet another two putt birdie on the 16th but ahead on the last, Caldwell played a remarkable second from some nasty stuff down the right to three feet and was left to wait at 17 under.
He must have feared the worst when Otaegui was inside 20 feet with his approach to the 18th but the 28-yearold ran his birdie attempt four feet past and then missed coming back to hand Caldwell the title.
“It’s been a dream of mine for an awful long time,” Caldwell said of his victory. “A lot of hard work goes into it. It hasn’t quite sunk in yet, but hopefully more to come.”
After a trailblazing tournament, Caldwell added, “It’s been a tremendous week, I think what they’ve done this week is fantastic and I hope we have more weeks like this. The golf course was fantastic and I played with some great girls this week.
“I got a fist pump from Annika (Sorenstam) when I came off 18 which is pretty incredible - probably the greatest ever ladies golfer so that was pretty special.”