Paul Waring came through a playoff against Thomas Aiken to win his first European Tour title in the Nordea Masters at Hills GC in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Paul Waring wins Nordea Masters
England’s Paul Waring beat Thomas Aiken of South Africa on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff to win the Nordea Masters in Sweden and claim his maiden European Tour title on his 200th start.
Waring and Aiken went into the final round at Hills GC in Gothenburg tied for the lead on 12-under-par.
The South African holed from the fringe on the opening hole to move in front but Waring responded with a long putt for birdie on the next.
Aiken went ahead again after an excellent approach into the third left him with four feet for a birdie. He almost found the water on the next and failed to get up and down and when he missed the green off the tee on the par-three fifth, it was back-to-back bogeys.
Waring hit his tee-shot to 10-feet on the par-3 10th to open up a two-shot lead and while Aiken cut the gap with a birdie after driving the 12th, the Englishman hit another excellent shot into the 13th to re-establish his cushion.
Waring’s first bogey of the day on the 15th saw the lead cut the lead to one and Aiken got up and down from the sand on the last for a birdie to set up the play-off.
On the first extra hole, the 18th at Hills GC, Aiken drove into the water and a par from Waring was enough to take the victory.
It was a big moment for Waring, in his 200th start on the European Tour. The Englishman came through Q school in 2007 but has missed large chunks of the 2011, 2012, 2015 and 2016 seasons through injury.
“I’m ecstatic,” he said. “I wasn’t ever sure this day would come in total honesty. I’ve tried so hard for many years to get to this point and it’s nice to finally cross the line and be holding the trophy. It feels like it’s all worth it. I’ve had a couple of operations along the way and it’s nice to finally have got to this point. I’m sure that everyone back home will be absolutely thrilled for me. This is all for everyone back home as well.”
Aiken was able to find the positives from his runner-up finish.
“Obviously disappointed with the play-off but that’s the way the cookie crumbles sometimes and we’ve got a lot of positivity to build on in the next two months.”
Max Kieffer of Germany fired a closing 65 to move into third place and it was a big week for Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen. His fourth place finish was enough to move him into an automatic qualifying position for Thomas Bjorn’s Ryder Cup team.
Hills GC, Gothenburg, Sweden
Purse: €1,500,000 Par: 70
1 Paul Waring (Eng) 66 63 69 68 266 €250,000
2 Thomas Aiken (RSA) 66 65 67 68 266 €166,660
3 Max Kieffer (Ger) 68 68 66 65 267 €93,900
4 Thorbjorn Olesen (Den) 68 66 67 67 268 €75,000
5 Lucas Herbert (Aus) 66 68 69 66 269 €63,600
T6 Jazz Janewattananond (Tha) 67 68 72 64 271 €42,150
T6 Andrea Pavan (Ita) 69 66 72 64 271 €42,150
T6 Haydn Porteous (RSA) 72 67 67 65 271 €42,150
T6 Robert Rock (Eng) 70 69 65 67 271 €42,150
T10 Andrew Johnston (Eng) 70 68 68 66 272 €27,800
T10 Lee Slattery (Eng) 64 69 70 69 272 €27,800
T10 Matthew Southgate (Eng) 67 73 65 67 272 €27,800
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage