Golf - Bjorn beats Lee in European Masters play-off

Thomas Bjorn held his nerve to beat Craig Lee in a play-off to win the European Masters in Switzerland.

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Golf - Bjorn beats Lee in European Masters play-off
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Thomas Bjorn

The Dane, two shots behind coming into Sunday, shot a 65 to finish 20 under – a score which was quickly matched by overnight leader Lee, who posted a 67 to add to his course record 61 from the day before.

And it was Bjorn who emerged with the title, sinking the decisive birdie from 12 feet in the first hole of the play-off to win his second European Masters title.

“It was nice. I had a really good run through the summer and did not really get close enough. I had to grit my teeth for a while and I really wanted to get out and try to win a golf tournament again,” said Bjorn.

"I came in this week not playing particularly great but promised myself I would stick to how I play this golf course. I did that and had two bogeys in 72 holes, which is good going around here. I felt good and I got over the line. It was nice to do that in a playoff. I’ve had a hard time dealing with pressure situations and there is no more pressure than that,” he added.

Lee came narrowly close to a record-breaking round with a 61 on Saturday and needed a birdie to win the tournament outright at the 18th.

He however watched in disbelief as his ball flirted with the edge of the hole before failing to drop.

“The putter was pretty cold the first nine but nobody was running away from it. Thomas made a charge but didn’t capitalise on the two par fives. That let me back in and I dug deep and managed to birdie the two par fives myself and gave myself a chance coming down the last and just lipped out on the last,” said Lee.

“I would certainly have taken second place before the week started. Even after the first round when I was level par and on the border cut line. So I’m delighted with my performance,” added Lee.

Lee produced a final round of 67. He finished level with Bjorn on a 20-under-par 264 total.

Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee was the highest-ranked Asian after he finished tied-ninth by closing with his week’s best score of 65.

The European Masters is the only tournament on European soil to be jointly sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour and marks the start of the second half of the Asian Tour season.

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