Richard S Johnson of Sweden birdied the 72nd hole to win the Nordea Scandinavian Masters at Bro Hoff Slott Golf Club by a single shot from Argentina’s Rafa Echenique.
Johnson began the final round in a tie for the lead with KJ Choi of South Korea. But, with bogeys at the 2nd and 3rd, the Swede immediately felt the pressure of the chasing pack. England’s James Morrison raced to the turn in just 30 shots and moved into contention while Nicolas Colsaerts of Belgium also made a fast start to be out in 32.
Both Colsaerts and Morrison fell away on the run for home, however, and it was Rafa Echenique who emerged as Johnson’s main rival for the title. Playing in the group ahead of Johnson, the Argentine made back-to-back birdies at the 12th and 13th to join Johnson at the top of the leaderboard.
The Swede pulled clear again with a birdie at the 15th but he gave the shot back immediately on the difficult par 3 16th. The home favourite came to the tricky closing hole needing a par to force a playoff. After a good drive into the centre of the fairway, he fired a solid iron shot into the heart of the green. It left him with a 30-foot putt to win the title outright. The crowds held their breath as he set it rolling over the super-quick surface then erupted as it found the bottom of the cup.
Johnson joins Jesper Parnevik, Joakim Haeggman and Peter Hanson as the only Swedish winners of this event.
“Just walking down 17 and 18, it’s probably the sickest thing I’ve ever done,” said Johnson who now lives in Florida. “It’s truly magical and I’m speechless right now. I’ve got my whole family here so it’s just really cool.”
Edoardo Molinari continued his excellent season, finishing alone in third and collecting more valuable Ryder Cup points in the process.
It was another good week for Open champion Louis Oosthuizen. The South African finished in a tie for fourth.
Overnight co-leader KJ Choi remained in contention until a disastrous nine at the par-5 15th took him out of the running. He ended the week in 13th place.