Bjerregaard profits from Hatton’s late backsliding at St Andrews

Denmark's Lucas Bjerregaard with the trophy after winning the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at The Old Course, St Andrews (Picture: Kenny Smith/PA Wire).
Denmark's Lucas Bjerregaard with the trophy after winning the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at The Old Course, St Andrews (Picture: Kenny Smith/PA Wire).
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Denmark’s Lucas Bjerregaard denied Ryder Cup winner Tyrrell Hatton a third straight Alfred Dunhill Links Championship title after a storming final round at St Andrews.

Hatton had taken a four-stroke advantage into a final round that was brought forward due to the threat of high winds in the area, but it was Bjerregaard who dealt best with the conditions.

The Dane’s five-under-par 67 earned him a 15-under total of 273, enough to win by one stroke from Hatton and his fast-finishing Ryder Cup team-mate Tommy Fleetwood, whose 69 earned him a share of second place.

World No 92 Bjerregaard had claimed his only previous tour win at the Portugal Open in 2017 and needed to produce something special yesterday to add to that after beginning the day playing catch-up on defending champion Hatton.

But starting on the 18th hole under the ‘shotgun’ system, in which all contenders began the final round at the same time, Bjerregaard immediately reduced the deficit with a birdie.

Nevertheless Hatton also began strongly and at one point held a five-stroke advantage before falling away with four bogeys on the back nine.

Bjerregaard still faced an anxious wait after a bogey on his final hole, the 17th, but Hatton missed a birdie putt on his last, which would have forced a play-off.

“It was a great day, obviously one of the best rounds I’ve played all year,” said Bjerregaard. “I’ve played well recently and I’ve come close a few times – lost in a play-off in Switzerland (to Sheffield’s Matt Fitzpatrick), which obviously hurt.

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

Hatton said: “I started off well, scoring pretty well the front nine, considering conditions were quite tough.

“Then momentum completely went I think after the tee shot on 10. For some reason, I just couldn’t seem to do anything right.

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