Thorbjørn Olesen held off a spirited final-day charge from Chris Wood to register his first win on the European Tour at the Sicilian Open.
The 22-year-old was in a big battle with Wood, who had asked plenty of questions of his opponent by equalling the course record of 64 at Verdura Golf Resort & Spa.
However, Olesen held firm with a round of 69 making steady pars on the difficult 17th and 18th for a 15-under-par total and one-shot victory.
“It feels amazing,” said the new Sicilian Open champion. “I had three seconds last year, so to finally get my first win is great.
“I’ve been playing some great golf this year, without all parts of my game coming together. But this week my long and short game both came together, and it feels fantastic to finally get over the line.
“I saw he [Wood] was doing well when I arrived at the ninth, so I knew I had to go for it and make birdies, so it kind of made up my mind for me that I had to play attacking golf.
“I was definitely a bit nervous. I was just trying to focus on one shot at a time, but that’s very difficult to do because your mind keeps thinking of other things.
But I’m really happy to finish with a par on 18, because it’s a really tough golf hole. So when I found the green with my second shot, I was very happy.”
Wood will have to wait a bit longer for his first European Tour victory and it’s now six six top-three finishes for the young 24-year-old, who had made it a two-horse race by making the turn in 30.
It could have been different if Wood’s birdie chip hadn’t lipped out on ten, but he bogeyed 17 with Olesen making a crucial birdie on 14 despite finding thick rough with his second shot.
Elsewhere, Nicolas Colsaerts and Søren Kjeldsen tied for third a further two shots back of Wood.
Olesen picked up the €166,660 winner’s cheque and added: “I actually hit a terrible second shot on 14, but I managed to hit a great chip shot to set up the birdie chance, which was probably the most crucial shot of the week.”
Sicilian Open final leaderboard
Verdura Golf Resort & Spa, Sicily, Italy
Mar 29-Apr 1, purse €989,970, par 72
1 Thorbjørn Olesen (DEN) 68 69 67 69 €166,660
2 Chris Wood (ENG) 67 71 72 64 €111,110
T3 Nicolas Colsaerts (BEL) 67 71 69 69 €56,300
T3 Soren Kjeldsen (DEN) 65 72 71 68 €56,300
5 Jose Manuel Lara (ESP) 69 70 70 68 €42,400
T6 Shane Lowry (IRL) 67 70 74 67 €30,000
T6 Andrew Parr (CAN) 71 69 67 71 €30,000
T6 Anthony Wall (ENG) 69 72 71 66 €30,000
T9 Tano Goya (ARG) 65 73 72 69 €21,200
T9 Alvaro Velasco (ESP) 67 74 70 68 €21,200
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage