I seem to recall a couple of Danes celebrating at the end of the Ryder Cup last month and on Sunday it was the turn of Thomas Bjorn and Thorbjorn Olesen’s compatriot Lucas Bjerregaard to uncork the champagne.
The 27-year-old was fantastic in winning the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews, where he saw off two more of Europe’s heroes from Le Golf National, Tyrrell Hatton and Tommy Fleetwood.
It was almost an incredible fortnight for Hatton, who looked set to win this event for a third year in a row – a three-peat, as the Americans call it – until late in the final round.
I felt sorry for him as it seemed as though he just ran out of energy over the last few holes, making four bogeys on the back nine. His putt at the 18th, which came up short, illustrated that.
The high from being part of a winning Ryder Cup team lasts for days, and both Hatton and Fleetwood, who tied for second, would have been carried along by the euphoria all the way into this event.
But underneath all that the body and mind are tired. They would have been on cloud nine pretty much all the way until the last hole, when they ran out of steam.
Had it not been the week after the Ryder Cup, I think Hatton would probably have held on down the stretch, and Fleetwood might have done better than three-putt his last hole, but all credit should go to Bjerregaard who mustered a great round of 67 in wet and windy conditions.
Bjerregaard’s second European Tour title confirmed his excellent recent form, which included being runner-up at the European Masters in Switzerland last month and top-10 finishes in the two tournaments before that, in Denmark and the Czech Republic. That run has lifted him to 10th in the Race To Dubai standings and just outside the world top 50.
It might be a stretch to suggest the Ryder Cup success of captain Bjorn and rookie Olesen inspired him to get over the line this time, but the thought of competing in the next edition will certainly have been an incentive.
What really carried Bjerregaard through was his form from Switzerland, where he lost in a play-off to England’s Matt Fitzpatrick.
There was drama before his win in Scotland was confirmed, though. Having hit a magnificent shot onto the green at his last hole, he then three-putted for a bogey. Victory was only confirmed when he learned that Hatton missed his putt for a play-off.
A nice sub-plot from the week involved Tapio Pulkkanen, whose fourth place secured the Finn his tour card with two events to spare. His final two rounds – 67 at Carnoustie and 69 at St Andrews – were probably the best of his life and must be among the most important too.
Like father, like son
Over in America there was another great story, as Kevin Tway won his first title on the PGA Tour at the Safeway Open.
In doing so, he followed in the footsteps of his dad, Bob, an eight-time winner on the tour who famously holed a wonderful bunker shot to beat Greg Norman to the PGA Championship in 1986. They are the 10th father-son duo to both win on the PGA Tour, with Bill Haas – son of Jay – another notable recent example.
I love Kevin’s game – it reminds me of his father’s – and it must be a phenomenal feeling of pride for Bob to see his son follow in his footsteps like that.