IRISH OPEN: Soren Kjeldsen is king at Royal County Down

Soren Kjeldsen (left) putts to win the play off as Bernd Wiesberger looks on
Soren Kjeldsen (left) putts to win the play off as Bernd Wiesberger looks on

Denmark’s Soren Kjeldsen won the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open in dramatic circumstances after looking to have let a fourth European Tour victory slip from his grasp.

Kjeldsen took a two-shot lead into the final round and was one ahead with two holes remaining despite being four over par for the day as the players battled heavy showers and winds gusting up to 40mph at Royal County Down.

A three-putt bogey on the 17th left Kjeldsen needing to birdie the last to win, but after chipping from one side of the green off the other, he did well to get up and down for par and a closing 76 to join England’s Eddie Pepperell and Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger in a play-off.

The players returned to the par-five 18th for sudden death and, after finding the green in two and seeing his opponents fail to make birdie, Kjeldsen two-putted from 25 feet, although his birdie attempt did a full circuit of the hole before dropping.

“Three weeks ago I was 112th in the Order of Merit and my game was not in good shape,” Kjeldsen said. “With turning 40 (a fortnight ago) you wonder was that it? Now I am standing here and it’s pretty remarkable really.”