In one of the most exciting finishes of the season a play-off victory in the Volvo Masters helped Justin Rose top the European Tour Order of Merit.
Rose began the final round four shots ahead of the field but half a dozen players helped provide a fantastic climax to the season. A solid front nine of 34 saw the Englishman reach the turn in complete control but a double bogey seven at the 11th brought a number of players back into contention. Rose then showed signs of nerves with bogeys at 13 and 14.
Søren Kjeldsen made no less than six threes on the front nine to move up the leaderboard and a birdie at 17 gave him a one shot lead on two-under-par. A bogey at the last left him leader in the clubhouse. Kjeldsen?s playing partner Graham McDowell produced one of the shots of the year holing a seven iron for an albatross two on the 17th. This brought the Irishman within a shot of Kjeldsen but a double bogey at the last saw his chances of victory disappear.
Padraig Harrington needed to finish above Rose and in the top three to win the Order of Merit but could only finish in fourth place after three level rounds of 71 followed by a round of 72 on Sunday.
Simon Dyson was the nearest challenger to Rose for much of the day and both Englishmen finished with a bogey on the last to tie with Kjeldsen on one-under. The play-off began on the 18th where all three players made comfortable pars. They moved on to the next and all knocked it close with their second shots on the 10th. Kjeldsen missed his birdie putt before Rose rolled his in and Dyson missed to leave Rose as winner of Volvo Masters.
“It’s been a long road to get here. You need to win tournaments to be regarded as a great player and it would have been very disappointing if I hadn’t won this,” said Rose.
The 27-year-old?s win will also move him into seventh in the World Rankings.
-1 J Rose*, S Dyson, S Kjeldsen
+1 P Harrington, G McDowell
+4 M Kaymer
* Rose wins on second play-off hole