Golf: Kjeldsen's still in mood to win as Augusta looms on the horizon.
After only one win in his first 309 European Tour events, Dane Soren Kjeldsen made it two in his last nine here yesterday.
Four months after capturing the Volvo Masters, the diminutive 33-year-old returned to Spain and triumphed in the Andalucian Open by three strokes from Scotland's David Drysdale.
It was far closer than that suggests, however.
Level with three to play, Kjeldsen put his second shot to the long 16th into the lake and had to make an 18-footer to stay on terms.
He then holed fromeven further for a brilliant two at the 226-yard 17th and, with Drysdale failing to get up and down from a greenside bunker, therewas a two-shot gap coming to the last hole.
The Edinburgh golfer, who was third in Johannesburg in January, was trying for his first Tour victory in 166 starts but, after finding more sand with his closing drive, he hit his second into the water and double-bogeyed.
"I'm a bit gutted about that," said Drysdale, who closed with a 74 for 11 under par.
"It was quite a good battle and it's just a shame not to hit any decent shots when I really needed to.
"I hit poor tee shots on the last three holes.
When you have to hit the fairways, I started missing them."
After ten visits to the Qualifying School, however, his cheque for just over pounds 104,000 should spare him a return.
Kjeldsen, who three-putted the last for bogey, picked up pounds 156,000 and nowheads toAugusta for his Masters debut at his highest-ever position in the world - just outside the top 40.
Hequalified forAugusta by finishing last year at 50th in the world rankings - by one-hundredth of a point. "I was told I was in by a guy who writes a website in Denmark, then he called to say he had it wrong and if Richard Sterne won in South Africa I would be 51st," he said. "Iwatched himmake tons of birdies, then win in a play-off, so went on a 10-mile run on the beach screaming and shouting.
"I came back, went to bed and then the same guy rang at midnight to say he had it wrong and I was in. I was drained, but it's a dreamto play there and I have the invitation framed."
His closing 72 was ten more than his careerbest, course-record third round but it was much windier and colder and there was some rain to contend with, too.
It becameatwo-horse racewhenScot Alastair Forsyth and Welshman Rhys Davies took seven and six respectively on the 428-yard 14th. That allowed England's Graeme Storm and Italian Francesco Molinari to share third place on 10 under but Colin Montgomerie, second after his opening 67, finished his 500th Tour event as a professional in 31st.
The only Midlander to make the cut, Steve Webster, finished one stroke behind Montgomerie on 289 after a closing 71.
Denmark's Soren Kjeldsen celebrates his victory
|Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback|
|Publication:||The Birmingham Post (England)|
|Date:||Mar 30, 2009|
|Previous Article:||Radio legend Ed's dial mishap brings forth famous caller.|
|Next Article:||Racing: Expresso in hurry to see the bookies hammered; In association with www.flybe.com.|