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By : BGA Proshop
Sebastian Soderberg claimed his first victory on the European Tour by winning the Omega European Masters in Crans Montana, Switzerland. In the final round, Soderberg was paired with World Number 2 and reigning Fed Ex Cup Champion Rory McIlroy and it didn’t seem to faze him as they both ended in a 5 man playoff to decide the winner.
It would have been a remarkable two weeks of golf for McIlroy who last week held off Brooks Koepka to win his second Fex Ex Cup and collect a $15 million USD cheque. After his victory in the United States he then jumped on a plane and headed straight for Switzerland to get ready for the Omega European Masters. With a second-round 63, many thought he was going to run away with the tournament but the field was up to the challenge. He got off to a shakey start with 2 quick bogeys in the first 4 holes and bounced back with 2 birdies but another bogey on the way out bunched the field up. On the inward nine another bogey on 10 left many wondering if McIlroy had run out of gas but in true fashion, he went on to birdie 6 of the last 8 holes to put him right back into contention and into a playoff.
In the end it was a birdie putt in the first playoff hole that slid past the left edge for McIlroy which ended his chances of another victory.
This was McIlroy’s seventh event in eight weeks and it started to take a toll.
“(I made) too many mistakes,” McIlroy said, “Playing that much, sometimes these mental errors creep in.”
Soderberg, on the other hand, got off to a solid start and went out in a par 35. He then reeled off 5 birdies in a row and had a chance of six in a row but just missed. The streak had put him in the lead but disaster happened on the 17th hole. After knocking his second to about 6 feet then nerves got the better of him and he ran the birdie putt 4 foot pasted the hole. He missed the one coming back which lead to a bogey and all 5 were tied on the 18th heading into the final hole. Soderberg had a chance to birdie the 18th to win but it just missed.
“I thought I had it,” Soderberg said about his putt on No. 18, “I literally couldn't hold the putter still so I was just happy I gave it a good try.”
No one from the pack could birdie it too which lead to the 5 man playoff off which Soderberg cooly birdied and the rest missed their chances for him to claim his first European Tour victory.
The win marked the Swede’s first career victory, and secured his European Tour card through the 2021 season.
“It’s going to change your life going forward,” Soderberg said “I was way more calm in the playoff than I was in my last few holes.”