Scotland?s Marc Warren secured his first European Tour victory this weekend in the Scandinavian Masters. The tournament took place in Malmo, Sweden, and Warren held his nerve impressively in a sudden-death playoff to defeat local boy Robert Karlsson after both men has finished on -10.
It is Warren?s first season on the European Tour, and before this tournament he had made just eight cuts for twenty-one starts. He held his nerve better than the more experienced Karlsson, however, and sealed the victory with a par on the 18th at the second extra hole, two shots better than Karlsson?s double-bogey six.
?I?m sure it will sink in later on and it?s a fantastic feeling,? Warren said after picking up a winner?s cheque for £182,000.
?The spare time I had before the playoff did me the world of good. I wasn?t feeling too comfortable with my swing but I managed to work on a couple of things on the range and it paid off.?
RYDER CUP WATCH
The main consolation for Karlsson was a runner-up cheque for £121,000 and with it the virtual guarantee that he will make Ian Woosnam?s European Team for the Ryder Cup in Ireland next month. Karlsson, who narrowly missed out on a place in the 1999 team, won last week?s Deutsche Bank Players Championship, and those points together with the ones he has claimed this weekend for finishing second have moved him into a formidable position with four points scoring events left to play. He now lies in 10th place on the World List and is the highest ranked unqualified player on the European List.
Aside from Karlsson consolidating his qualification hopes, this weekend was a relatively quiet one for the European hopefuls. With Europeans having two more qualifying tournaments left than their American counterparts, most of them opted to take a break on either side of the Atlantic. Of those hoping to qualify, it was mainly Karlsson?s countrymen that took part in the Scandinavian Masters. However, Karlsson was the only one to pick up serious ranking points that had an effect on the standings.
Main points scorer from Scandinavian Masters: Robert Karlsson (Swe)
European Standings ? 7th August 2006
Pos Player Points
1 DAVID HOWELL (Eng) 207.27
2 COLIN MONTGOMERIE (Sco) 205.90
3 JOSE MARIA OLAZABAL (Spa) 202.09
4 HENRIK STENSON (Swe) 201.76
5 LUKE DONALD (Eng) 192.24
6 Sergio Garcia (Spa) 187.96
7 Paul Casey (Eng) 165.33
8 Padraig Harrington (Ire) 154.45
9 Carl Petterson (Swe) 154.12
10 Robert Karlsson (Swe) 151.10
Pos Player Points
1 Colin Montgomerie (Sco) 2,413,016
2 David Howell (Eng) 2,274,635
3 ROBERT KARLSSON (Swe) 1,870,581
4 Henrik Stenson (Swe) 1,782,888
5 PAUL CASEY (Eng) 1,721,833
6 SERGIO GARCIA (Spa) 1,634,091
7 PADRAIG HARRINGTON (Ire) 1,514,027
8 PAUL MCGINLEY (Ire) 1,455,992
9 Jose Maria Olazabal (Spa) 1,381,698
10 Paul Broadhurst (Eng) 1,336,905
* Capital letters denote players in the current qualifying positions. The top five players on the World List qualify automatically, and are joined by the top five players on the European List that have not already qualified via the World List. Captain Ian Woosnam then adds two wildcard picks. Scoring continues until 03/09/2006.