Sunday, June 10, 2018

Korhonen wins by six from Connor Syme

Round four report
Mikko Korhonen produced a brilliantly consistent display to speed away from the field and secure his first European Tour title at the Shot Clock Masters.
The Finn entered the final day with a five-shot advantage but his lead was cut to three in the early stages and he had to contend with two weather delays at Diamond Country Club near Vienna in Austria.
Korhonen is no stranger to adversity after his 12 visits to Qualifying School and he calmly signed for a round of 69 for a sixteen under par total and a six-shot victory over Scotland's Connor Syme.
The 37 year old, who won the Q-School Final Stage in 2014 and has maintained his place on Tour ever since, now has a victory at the 146th attempt thanks to a 62-hole bogey-free run that was only ended on the ninth hole today.
Syme holed a 5o foot putt on the last hole to take second place on his own at ten under par and claim his best European Tour finish after making just three of 12 cuts so far in his rookie season.
Belgium’s Nicolas Colsaerts, Frenchman Raphaël Jacquelin, Justin Walters of South Africa and England's Steve Webster were one shot behind at nine under par.
The European Tour was breaking new ground this week with every player on the clock for every shot, and one-shot penalties imposed for bad times. While only four players ended the week with a one-shot penalty, average round times for rounds one to three shaved more than 30 minutes off the 2018 season average time for 18 holes in three balls, while the score average for the week was more than a shot better than the average for all previous editions of this event, formerly the Austrian Open, at Diamond Country Club since 2010.
Player quotes
Mikko Korhonen: “It feels great, beautiful. It’s been a long wait so it feels so good. I didn’t dare to think about winning. When my last shot had landed on the 18th green, then I knew I had five or six putts of cushion.
“Yes, I have thought that I might never be in this position. I’ve been up there a couple of times and couldn’t do it at those times, but now I’m so happy and relieved that I have done it. It’s not easy to win, especially not the first win, so I’m really happy to have done it. I have no words, it’s so good.
“I looked at the scores yesterday and that’s when I thought “oh, I didn’t make a bogie” but I didn’t think about making bogies or birdies, I just thought about the next shot.
“Maybe not every week but it’s nice to have one of these tournaments as a wake-up call for the slow players. I think it’s a good tournament to have.”
Connor Syme: “I’ve been having such a good week I thought I could do something really cool towards the end. I didn’t really expect it to drop but it was absolutely perfect up an over. It was a serious bonus to watch it drop.
“I knew that there were a few guys tied at nine under par so it’s a massive bonus to get out of that pack and jump up to second. It’s brilliant for me, and with the re-rank coming up it could really change my season for sure.
“I’ve loved it. It was a great trial by the European Tour and I think it was a success. It was a brilliant pace of play the whole way round. I think as well, from my perspective, being in contention, there are times when you might have backed off it if there was a little bit of doubt, but you know you can’t and it probably helps the player more than anything. I thoroughly enjoyed the format.”
Raphaël Jacquelin: “Finishing with a birdie on 18 is always good, so the feeling is good. What can I say, I haven’t played too well this year so I’m pleased. I played solid this week so that is what I will remember for the rest of the year.
“I just hit a lot of fairways and a lot of greens, so that helps to make a good score. I was not striking the ball very well and I was not really confident, so I hope this week can help me to get the game back and get the confidence back.
“I would do this every week. I play fast. I used to play a lot faster but had to slow down because I was waiting too much on the shots then thinking too much. The good thing about this format is just to play, be ready when it’s your turn to play. That makes a big difference. We can’t think too much and that’s a good thing for the golfer.”
FINAL TOTALS
272 M Korhonen (Fin) 68 67 68 69, 278 C Syme (Sco) 68 72 69 69,279 S Webster (Eng) 69 67 76 67, J Walters (RSA) 68 68 72 71, N Colsaerts (Bel) 70 69 73 67, R Jacquelin (Fra) 71 69 70 69,280 D Horsey (Eng) 70 71 68 71, O Farr (Wal) 69 72 72 67, P Hanson (Swe) 67 73 69 71, S Fernandez (Esp) 73 73 69 65, A Chesters (Eng) 71 72 69 68,281 M Jiménez (Esp) 67 70 72 72, D Papadatos (Aus) 76 65 72 68, N Cullen (Aus) 70 70 70 71, M Schwab (Aut) 69 68 73 71, J Hansen (Den) 72 68 73 68, J Carlsson (Swe) 72 73 70 66, A Bland (Aus) 70 73 66 72,282 M Fraser (Aus) 73 72 71 66, L Slattery (Eng) 72 72 66 72, A Connelly (Can) 69 71 69 73, J Huldahl (Den) 68 69 72 73,283 M Tullo (Chi) 72 74 71 66, A Pavan (Ita) 70 70 72 71, G Forrest (Sco) 71 70 75 67, B Stow (Eng) 74 71 68 70, L Gagli (Ita) 71 69 74 69, O Lengden (Swe) 66 73 71 73, S Kjeldsen (Den) 69 73 69 72,284 T Lewis (Eng) 69 71 74 70, J Winther (Den) 69 70 74 71, M Foster (Eng) 69 75 67 73, W Ormsby (Aus) 72 69 73 70, P Khongwatmai (Tha) 71 73 69 71,285 J Choi (Kor) 70 72 70 73, K Samooja (Fin) 70 70 77 68, R McGee (Irl) 73 73 70 69,286 R McGowan (Eng) 69 70 74 73, T Pulkkanen (Fin) 67 76 69 74, C Ford (Eng) 72 67 75 72, O Stark (Swe) 69 72 69 76, B Dredge (Wal) 74 71 71 70,287 S Khan (Eng) 72 72 73 70, A Hansen (Den) 68 78 70 71, S Straka (Aut) 69 75 70 73, J Lima (Por) 73 72 70 72,288 R Evans (Eng) 71 75 71 71, E Johansen (Nor) 71 69 71 77, A Wu (Chn) 69 68 72 79,289 D Huizing (Ned) 71 70 71 77, B Ritthammer (Ger) 70 72 70 77, L Nemecz (Aut) 73 71 71 74, H Sturehed (Swe) 73 71 69 76, K Johannessen (Nor) 71 74 67 77, S Surry (Eng) 75 65 76 73,290 J Arnoy (Nor) 72 68 72 78,291 D Stewart (Sco) 72 72 72 75,292 J Munro (Aus) 72 74 69 77,296 M Brier (Aut) 75 71 70 80,** F Aguilar (Chi) 71 73 73 DQ,

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