Hansen Holds Nerve for Wentworth Victory

Anders Hansen was hardly mentioned during the halfway stage of the BMW PGA Championship at the Wentworth Club in England.

Two days later, he was the toast of the European Tour after his 25-foot putt on the first play-off hole gave him a birdie and a thrilling victory over local hope Justin Rose.

After an innocuous first two days, during which he shot 74 and 70, Hansen burst into life at the weekend, carding five-under-par 67 and three-under-par 69 to tie Rose at the top of the leaderboard on 280.

Thriving in the wet conditions as others struggled, Hansen fully deserved his second PGA Championship title, which came against a top field that included Fijian Vijay Singh, who finished tied for third, one stroke behind the leaders on 281.

Rose appeared out of it when he needed to get up and down from 100 feet on the 18th. This he did with a superb approach that spun back to within six inches of the hole.

However, he only delayed Hansen’s triumph, with the Dane unleashing a pressure putt that superbly hit its mark and earned him the 725,000-euro first prize.

Hansen said on the European Tour’s website:

“I think it means a lot more to me this time that the first time I won it. What means most to me is how I feel about myself and how I feel about my game and what I do, and right now it feels pretty good.”

Hansen can also feel pretty good about his position on the European Tour’s money list after his victory on the circuit’s flagship event. He surged an amazing 253 places from 262 to ninth position.

Like last week, there was sudden-death drama on both sides of the Atlantic with South African Rory Sabbatini winning the Crowne Plaza Invitational at the Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas.

Sabbatini sunk a 15-foot birdie putt on the first play-off hole to outlast Jim Furyk and Bernhard Langer and take his fourth title on the PGA Tour.

The three play-off contenders finished on 266 for the tournament, all of them closing with three-under 67s.

It was Sabbatini, who shot 62 in the third round, who held his nerve in the play-off to win the $1.08 million first prize.

Fourth-placed Pat Perez was two strokes off the lead at 268 after his closing four-under-par 66.

On the Asian Tour, South Korea’s Bae Sang-moon recorded a convincing six-stroke victory in his home SK Telecom Open in Seoul.

He closed with a five-under-par 67 for a total of 17-under 271 to triumph over Australia’s Aaron Baddeley and compatriot Kim Hyung-tae.

The victory earned him $129,171 and also gave him a two-year exemption to the Asian Tour.

It was an emotional victory for Bae, whose mother carried his bag for him for the last time. He said on the Asian Tour website:

“My mum is 51 and I am thankful to have her on the bag as she helped me calm my nerves. It is her last time to be my caddie.”

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