Noren first to win 3 in European Tour this year

LONDON • Alexander Noren underlined his status as Europe's hottest golfer by grabbing a third victory in eight events at the British Masters on Sunday, becoming the first man to win three times on the European tour this year.

The 34-year-old took a three- stroke lead into the final round at The Grove course just outside London, and compiled a two-under-par 69 for an aggregate of 266.

Noren, who also won the Scottish Open in July and last month's European Masters in Switzerland, finished two strokes clear of Austrian Bernd Wiesberger (67).

Former world No. 1 Lee Westwood ended a miserable run of poor form as a 67 secured third place on 269, two ahead of fellow Englishmen Tommy Fleetwood and Richard Bland, Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell, Alexander Levy of France, and Swede Peter Hanson.

Asked if he could ever have imagined winning thrice in one season - emulating Rory McIlroy's feat last year - Noren replied: "No, I didn't see that. It's amazing to be here now. I know golf is a tough game and I'll try to stay humble."

The Swede picked up the first prize of £500,000 (S$844,000), and the seventh European Tour title of his career.

"The big thing is you don't have to play a perfect game," said Noren, who joined compatriot Henrik Stenson inside the top 20 on the world rankings for the first time. "You just have to have a few parts of your game strong to get a win.

"My putting was probably the best thing this week, I holed a lot of putts.

"Maybe my driving wasn't the best but I didn't lose that much ground because of it."

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 18, 2016, with the headline 'Noren first to win 3 in European Tour this year'. Print Edition | Subscribe