Alfred Dunhill Championship: Dane Bjerregaard brings home the bacon

Lucas Bjerregaard has won the Alfred Dunhill Championship with a final round of 67 on the Old Course, St Andrews with Ryder Cup hero Tommy Fleetwood and last year’s winner Tyrrell Hatton tied for second.

The final round started at 8.30am as a shotgun start with every group teeing off on a different hole of the course. The Dane started four behind Tyrrell Hatton, however, Bjerregaard reeled last year’s winner in from six back with 12 to play.

Ryder Cup teammates Tommy Fleetwood and Hatton finished tied for second, one shot behind the victorious Dane. Fleetwood, who finished his round on the 18th green, was pleased with his work despite finishing runner-up.

“I played good, did a lot of good stuff, made great shots on 16, 17 great up and down,” he said.

Tommy Fleetwood © Grant McKenzie/Discovery Sports Media

“18, I played the hole great, hit a perfect putt and just whatever that is, like the wind either pushed it too fast or what-not.

“But, even in contention I did all the right stuff really.”

Speaking at his post-presentation press conference, Bjerregaard said: “It was a great day.”

“Obviously one of the best rounds I’ve played all year.

“I played well recently and I’ve come close a few times, lost in the playoff in Switzerland, which obviously hurt.

“Yeah, it feels really good.

“It’s really nice to sit here right now and yeah, I’m going to enjoy this one, no doubt.

Bjerregaard admitted that he had been keeping an eye on the leaderboards throughout the round and that he felt that Hatton was set to run away with it.

“Yeah, I was looking at all the boards,” he said.

“Didn’t really look like I had much of a chance to be fair.

“It looked like Tyrrell was going to run away with it.

“I just kept going about my business, and we knew the last — the back nine was going to play tough.

“So I thought if I could throw a few birdies there, I would still have a chance.

“Yeah, I didn’t rush it.

“I didn’t try to make birdies.

“I didn’t force them and they just slowly came and that one on 16 was really nice.”

Bjerregaard started his final round on the 18th and finished on 17th due to the shotgun start but the Dane enjoyed it.

“It was obviously nice to start with 18 this morning because it’s a good birdie chance,” he said.

“A nice way to get going, and make birdie there as I did, that’s one early, so you can get a good start.

“But then playing 17, it’s nice to know that you normally have 18 which is a good birdie chance, so if you bogey 17, you can get it back on 18.

“I didn’t really have that.”

The new Alfred Dunhill Links champion finished by paying tribute to his support team for helping him improve this season.

“Well, a lot of it started when I hired Jonathan Smart, who standing in the back there, probably doesn’t want the attention, but a lot of it started when he came on board,” he said.

“I think we started working around — Morocco was our first event, and yeah, since that, we’ve had a win now, eight tops in about 15, 16 events.

“We’ve done really well and he’s been a huge part of my success, so no doubt.

“I didn’t play well the first few months of the year.

“I think going down to Morocco, I barely made anything on the Race to Dubai.

“It’s been really good since.

“I think I have worked a little bit smarter, a little bit more on the stuff I have to, where before, I was really good at working and maybe not with the same kind of plan.

“So I think I’ve had a nice plan in motion since he came on board with knowing exactly what we wanted to do.

“As I said before I’ve been close a few times, and to close it out today was really nice.”

The Dane now moves into the top ten in the Race to Dubai Rankings after his good run of form.

Meanwhile, last year’s winner and this years joint runner-up Tyrrell Hatton bemoaned the back nine of his final round.

“Started off well, scoring pretty well the front nine, considering conditions were quite tough,” he said.

“Then yeah, just momentum completely went I think after the tee shot on 10.

“For some reason, just couldn’t seem to do anything right.

“Tried my best but just — you need some good breaks I guess when things aren’t quite going your way.

“Unfortunately that didn’t quite happen for me on the back nine and I guess my putt on the last to get in the playoff sums it up, really.

“Just a massive gust of wind just knocks me off.

“Pretty much lose balance on a putt, which is unfortunate.

“I’m pretty disappointed because I had a five-shot lead at one point.

“It was in my hands.

“Unfortunately I just couldn’t seem to do anything right on the back nine.”

Having lost a commanding lead, Hatton is naturally disappointed. However, he intends to take the positives from the week.

“Yeah, there’s positives,” he said.

“Obviously finishing second is a good effort.

“Tried my best obviously to win it again.

“It would have been pretty special to have three in a row.

“Didn’t work out.

“Wasn’t meant to be.

“Enjoy a week off at home now and head over to South Korea.”

Meanwhile, China’s Li Haotong and Allen Zhang won the team event by one shot with a score of 35 under.

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