There was a thrilling conclusion to the BMW Masters at Lake Malaren Golf Club in Shanghai with exciting permutations to the Race to Dubai as it approaches its climax.
Kristoffer Broberg of Sweden came through a playoff against Patrick Reed of the USA to claim his maiden European Tour title at the BMW Masters in Shanghai, China.
The Swede began the final round two shots off the pace, but by the time he’d reached the turn in just 33 strokes, he held a share of the lead. He made one further gain on the back nine and posted a clubhouse total of 17-under-par.
That number was matched by his playing partner Reed. The 2014 US Ryder Cup star went on a great run through the middle of the back nine as he picked up four shots in four holes from the 13th, including a hole-out eagle on the 15th. That burst pushed the American to 18-under and one clear of the field. But he gave one back on the 17th and finished on 17-under.
Both Thongchai Jaidee and Ben An, playing in the final group, had putts to join the Dane and the American in a playoff but both were unable to convert.
On the first hole of a sudden-death playoff, on Lake Malaren’s testing 18th, Reed found sand with his second while Broberg’s approach ended about 15 feet from the cup, safely on the putting surface. Reed played a superb bunker shot that secured a par, but Broberg still had a birdie putt to take the win. He calmly rolled it home and moved his golfing career on to a new level.
“A dream come true,” he said. “I’ve worked so hard for this all my life. I have no words.”
4 Talking points from the BMW Masters
1 – Kristoffer Broberg came into this event outside the top-60 on the Race to Dubai rankings and not eligible to play in the season-ending DP World Tour Championship. Picking up a cheque for €1,333,330, he has vaulted up the standings into 12th position and is now in line to secure a share of the Race to Dubai bonus pool (it’s divided up between the top-15 in the standings.) Broberg was four times a winner on the Challenge Tour but this is his breakthrough win on the main circuit. Prior to this, the 29-year-old’s best finish was a second place in the 2014 Scottish Open.
2 – Patrick Reed has moved to 15th on the Race to Dubai standings. The American has played a busy schedule this year splitting his time between the PGA and European Tours. He’s expressed his desire to do a similar thing next year and this finish will only encourage him in that direction. Reed pulled off shot of the day on the par-5 15th, he found sand with his second but his third landed past the pin and spun back into the hole for a three.
3 – Danny Willett needed to finish alone in 28th place, or better, to take over from Rory McIlroy at the top of the Race to Dubai standings with just one event to play. He would have managed it had he not bogeyed the penultimate hole. As it was, he finished on seven-under-par and in a tie for 28th spot. He goes into the DP World Tour Championship just 1,600 points behind the Northern Irishman. With four others (Justin Rose, Shane Lowry, Louis Oosthuizen and Branden Grace) all within 1,000,000 points of McIlroy, it could be quite a shootout.
Danny Willett on iron play:
4 – Justin Rose was another player who could have taken over from Rory McIlroy at the top of the Race to Dubai standings had he finished first or second in Shanghai. The Englishman pushed hard on the weekend with a pair of 67s but he came up just shy, finishing two shots behind Broberg and Reed. He was left to rue a disappointing second round of 72.
Lake Malaren Golf Club, Shanghai, China
Purse: €6,500,000, par 72
1 Kristoffer Broberg (Swe) 69 70 64 68 271 €1,333,330
2 Patrick Reed (USA) 71 69 64 67 271 €888,880
T3 Henrik Stenson (Swe) 68 71 65 68 272 €379,700
T3 Lucas Bjerregaard (Den) 66 66 70 70 272 €379,700
T3 Beyong Hun An (Kor) 65 71 66 70 272 €379,700
T3 Thongchai Jaidee (Tha) 67 68 66 71 272 €379,700
T7 Justin Rose (Eng) 67 72 67 67 273 €214,700
T7 Paul Casey (Eng) 67 69 68 69 273 €214,700
T9 Soren Kjeldsen (Den) 72 67 71 64 274 €165,760
T9 Juline Quesne (Fra) 70 69 69 66 274 €165,760
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage