England’s Paul Waring admitted he doubted whether he would ever win on the European Tour after finally doing so at the 200th attempt with a nerve-wracking victory in the Nordea Masters in Gothenburg.
Waring held a two-shot lead with four holes to play and was still one ahead playing the last, only for playing partner Thomas Aiken to make birdie and force extra holes.
However, Aiken then drove into the water when the players returned to the 18th for a sudden-death play-off and Waring’s par was good enough to secure the victory and first prize of £225,000.
The pair began the day tied for the lead and matching rounds of 68 saw them finish level on 14 under par at Hills Golf Club, a shot ahead of Germany’s Max Kieffer.
Kieffer covered the back nine in 29 in a brilliant final round of 65, with Thorbjorn Olesen’s fourth place enough to see him displace Ian Poulter in the final automatic qualifying berth for next month’s Ryder Cup, with just two events remaining.
“I’m obviously ecstatic,” said Waring. “I wasn’t ever sure this day would come in total honesty. I’ve tried so hard for many years to get to this point and it’s nice to finally get across the line and be holding the trophy.
“It wasn’t easy. I felt really in control though. I’ve made a few swing changes so I was kind of allowing myself to hit some bad shots now and again, so I wasn’t getting too wound up in where the ball was going.”
Waring won the English Amateur title in 2005, but has been hampered by numerous injuries during his professional career and last year’s 60th place on the Race to Dubai was his best season to date. “It feels like it’s all worth it,” added the 33-year-old from Birkenhead added. “I’ve had a couple of operations along the way and it’s nice to have finally got to this point.”
Rotherham’s Jonathan Thomson shot weekend rounds of 67, 70 to finish tied-29th on three-under-par while Huddersfield’s Chris Hanson finished 45th after following a disappointing 78 on Saturday with a 67 yesterday to finish level.