Edfors Wins Makes Push for Ryder Cup


2006 Barclays Scottish OpenLUSS, Scotland -- Sweden's Johan Edfors claimed his third European Tour title of the season on Sunday and all he had to do was fire the lowest round of the tournament.
The Swede posted a 9-under 63 in the final round to come from behind and win the Scottish Open. He finished at 13-under-par 271 and won the title by two shots at Loch Lomond.
'I was playing well on Thursday and Friday and made a lot of birdies,' said Edfors. 'I thought if I can make nine birdies on Thursday, I can make nine birdies on Sunday. I thought if I shot 9 under, it should be good enough.'
Edfors claimed his maiden European Tour title earlier this season at the TCL Classic, then followed with win No. 2 at the British Masters at the Belfry. He is now the first three-time winner on the European Tour this season.
Luke Donald carded a 5-under 66 and tied for second place with Charl Schwartzel (67) and Andres Romero (69) at minus-11.
Although Romero needed to birdie the last to match Edfors and walked off with a bogey that cost him sole possession of second place, the week was not a total loss.
When Benn Barham missed a 10-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole, Romero came in one ahead and had the best finish of any player this week who was not exempt for next week's British Open. That got him an invitation to Royal Liverpool in Hoylake.
Sunday's final round was expected to be a battle between the third-round co-leaders, Darren Clarke and Thomas Bjorn. The pair, both Ryder Cuppers and two of the European Tour's best, struggled mightily in the final round.
Bjorn could not keep his drives in play and Clarke went 3 over in a four-hole span around the turn. The duo walked down the 18th fairway with a chance to force a playoff if they holed out and neither did. In fact, neither got up and down for par.
They both shot rounds of 1-over-par 72 and tied for fifth place with Barham (70) and 2005 champion Tim Clark (69). The group finished the tournament at minus-10.
Edfors flew out of the gate on Sunday with a birdie at the second, then four in a row from the fourth. That got him to 10 under par and put him one behind the leaders for the final pairing even took the course.
The Swede birdied the ninth to tie for the lead, but Clarke tallied a pair of birdies at two and three, including a long one at the second to move to minus-13.
Edfors matched Clarke quickly. Edfors drained an eight-foot birdie putt at the 12th, then followed with a tap-in birdie at the par-5 13th. When Clarke bogeyed the fourth, Edfors was one ahead.
Edfors ran home a 7-foot birdie putt at the 14th to move two clear. Bjorn, who birdied the second, rolled in a 15-foot birdie putt at seven to get within one.
Playing several groups ahead of the final group, Edfors found trouble at the par-3 17th. He landed in a right greenside bunker, than blasted out to 12 feet, Edfors missed the par putt, but parred 18 to get into the clubhouse at minus-13.
He waited for the final group and they did their part to give Edfors the title. Bjorn missed the fairway badly at nine, then sent his second over the green in an unplayable lie. Bjorn hit his fourth 40 feet past the hole, but poured in the long bogey putt. Clarke made bogey at the same hole to fall two back while Bjorn was one off the lead.
Bjorn could barely find the fairway from there and bogeyed the 10th. Clarke was even worse with bogeys at 11 and 12, but both clawed back to get in the hunt.
Bjorn posted an amazing birdie at 13 from the long fescue grass to get back within one and Clarke birdied 13 and 14 to trail by two.
At the par-4 16th, Bjorn missed the green left with his approach and chunked his chip on to the fringe. He made bogey as he and Clarke were both two down with two to go.
Neither converted long birdie putts at 17 and neither holed out their second shots at 18, giving Edfors the title.
'It was tough there at the end when Darren and Bjorn and Romero started playing well,' admitted Edfors, who wandered off to the range to warm up for a potential playoff. 'I really thought it was going to a playoff.'
Ernie Els (69), Sergio Garcia (68) and Raphael Jacquelin (70) tied for ninth place at 9-under-par 275.
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Barclays Scottish Open
  • Full Coverage - Barclays Scottish Open