Broberg holds nerve in BMW Masters play-off

SHANGHAI • Kristoffer Broberg sank a knee-knocking downhill 12-foot birdie putt at the first play-off hole to win the BMW Masters and his first European Tour golf title yesterday.

The Swede carded a four-under final-round 68 to end level on 17-under 271 with Patrick Reed (67), forcing the pair to go head-to-head back down the 18th at Lake Malaren.

The American found the greenside bunker with his second to the long par four, while Broberg carved a nine-iron perfectly to the right of the flag and saw it run down a slope to four paces from the hole.

Although Reed splashed out close, the stage was set for the 29-year-old, who had won three times previously on the second-tier Challenge Tour but never among the top pros.

He had been faced with an almost identical putt minutes earlier on No. 18 to win outright but left it short. This time he made no mistake, firmly rolling the ball down the slope and into the heart of the cup to roars from the packed galleries as he held both arms aloft in triumph.

Broberg was embraced by his caddie and soon after by fellow Swedish Tour players Rikard Karlberg and Henrik Stenson, who showered him in celebratory champagne.

Fighting back tears, Broberg was almost lost for words after the biggest payday of his career - US$1,166,000 (S$1.66 million) - and shooting up the Race to Dubai rankings from 61st to 12th.

"That's a dream come true. I've worked so hard all my life for this. I have no words," said the Swede, who started the week ranked 149th in the world but looks certain to enter the top 100 when the new rankings are released today.

"I hit a good swing with my driver, just hit a long one left side," he said of the play-off hole. "Hit a pure nine-iron into the green and made the putt."

He said he would be celebrating later over dinner with his Swedish colleagues on tour including world No. 7 Stenson, who finished just one shot behind Broberg in a tie for third with An Byeong Hun of South Korea, Denmark's Lucas Bjerregaard and overnight leader Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand.

"Henrik paid the bill yesterday, so it's my turn today," Broberg laughed.

Rory McIlroy sat out the event but will tee up on Thursday in the DP World Tour Championship, still leading the Race to Dubai by a thread after Danny Willett's tied- 28th finish on seven-under was not enough to overtake the world No. 3 Ulsterman.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 16, 2015, with the headline 'Broberg holds nerve in BMW Masters play-off'. Print Edition | Subscribe