Despite enduring a tough year riddled by injury and poor play, the Danish golfer Thorbjørn Olesen took a big step to ending 2015 on a high note by winning the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland on Sunday.
Olesen, 25, who finished second in the tournament in 2012, enjoyed a comfortable three-stroke lead going into the final round, but found himself tied for first after starting the final day poorly.
But he found his stride again in the second half of his round and ended up winning by two strokes ahead of Americans Brooks Koepka and Chris Stroud.
The European Tour event is one of the most unusual in world golf, as it is actually contested on three links courses: Carnoustie, Kingsbarns and the Old Course, St Andrews.
“It’s been a very tough year and standing here with this trophy is unbelievable,” Olsen told the European Tour website. “On these three golf courses and finishing off especially on St Andrews is a great feeling.”
“It was nice this week just to play three great rounds of golf – the first three – and keep it together in this last round. I got too aggressive on the second hole. I hit a great drive down there and felt like I had a good yardage. I was just too aggressive, and as soon as you get too aggressive on a links golf course, you get punished.”
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Up the rankings
With the triumph, Olesen has now won three European Tour titles in his career, having won the 2012 Sicilian Open and the 2014 ISPS Handa Perth International.
The win also catapulted him up the official world golf rankings from 155th to 73rd, which means he is not far behind the top-ranked Dane, Søren Kjeldsen (ranked 59th).
No other Danes are in the top 100, with Thomas Bjørn (154th), Morten Orum Madsen (248th) and Lucas Bjerregaard (297th) all recently falling in the rankings.