Golf: Alex Noren on the up after British Masters win

Sweden's Alex Noren celebrates winning the British Masters with the trophy.
Sweden's Alex Noren celebrates winning the British Masters with the trophy.PHOTO: REUTERS

WATFORD, United Kingdom (AFP) - Sweden's Alex Noren joins compatriot Henrik Stenson inside the top-20 on the World Rankings for the first time after capturing the British Masters at The Grove on Sunday.

Noren, 34 overcame a mid-round stumble to shoot a closing two-under par 69 for a two stroke 18-under par victory total on the course just north of London for his third success in eight European Tour events.

This triumph meant Noren, who won the Scottish Open and European Masters earlier this year, also became the first player since Rory McIlroy last year to win three events in a European Tour season.

Noren, who had missed all but two events in 2014 due to tendonitis in both wrists, has now done in Europe what Jason Day and Dustin Johnson, the respective world number one and number two ranked golfers, have done in winning three tournaments during the 2015/16 PGA Tour season.

Victory earned Noren a £500,000 ($609,470, 555,460 euros)first-prize cheque and saw him soar to a world ranking career high just inside the top 20, with Stenson currently world number five.

"I believe in myself, but the big thing is like you don't have to play a perfect game," said Noren.

"You just have to have a few parts of your game need to be strong to get a win.

"My putting was probably the best thing this week. I holed a lot of putts," he added. "My chipping and wedge game was a lot better, so it helped me out. Maybe the driving wasn't the best but I didn't lose that much ground on it." Noren's seventh Tour success has also seen him jump from ninth to fourth on the Race to Dubai money list.

"I try to stay humble as golf is a tough game so I take any win," he added.

"But it's an amazing feeling to have won three times this year as I thought this would not happen to me." Austrian Bernd Wiesberger, who had drawn level with Noren after 15 holes, posted a 67 to finish runner-up on 16-under par.

England's Lee Westwood continued to bounce back from his disappointing showing during Europe's Ryder Cup defeat by the United States with a second straight round of 67 that saw him take third place on 15-under par.

"It was a solid performance as I had it the ball pretty well but one of those weeks where I feel like I didn't make enough putts from 15 to 25 feet," said Westwood.

"Of course, the Ryder Cup was disappointing for many reasons, for everybody, really. And then last week I struggled to sort of get back into it and get my tournament head on.

"This week, everything has been back together and played well. Everything was good. Nice performance. Probably going to finish top three, so pleased with that."