Dream come true as Bjerregaard beats idol Woods

WASHINGTON • Lucas Bjerregaard had dreamed of playing against Tiger Woods since he was 10, and he got his wish on Saturday when he came up against the former world No. 1 in the quarter-finals of the WGC Matchplay Championship in Austin, Texas.

Not many had given Bjerregaard a chance against Woods, but the 27-year-old Dane relished the challenge and never looked intimidated as he completed a shock 1-up victory over the 14-time Major champion at the Austin Country Club.

"Yeah, I dreamed about it. I didn't think it was ever going to come true," he said after the victory that set up a semi-final with Matt Kuchar early this morning (Singapore time).

"But I've definitely seen myself on the practice putting green when I was 10 years old making a putt to beat him in a Major or something like that."

Bjerregaard might be unknown to the American golfing public, but he does have two European victories, including a win in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at the Old Course at St Andrews last year.

He also finished 13th on the European Tour's Race to Dubai rankings last year, but said on Saturday that he had never experienced the noise or support that Woods attracted in his eight-year professional career.

"It was loud. It was like nothing I've ever experienced before," he said.

"I've played with a lot of good players, but nothing can compare to that. You can see, like he's not just my idol, but a lot of other people."

Bjerregaard nearly fell three holes behind on the front nine against the American before mounting a charge and producing clutch putting down the stretch.

He eagled the 16th hole to tie, then birdied No. 17 to remain level and watched Woods miss a putt on the last to end it. "He hit a lot of good shots today," said Woods, who defeated Rory McIlroy 2&1 in a dramatic last-16 showdown earlier.

Francesco Molinari, the highest remaining seed at seventh, met American 48th seed Kevin Kisner, last year's runner-up to Bubba Watson, in this morning's other semi-final to set up an 18-hole final against Bjerregaard or Kuchar.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 01, 2019, with the headline 'Dream come true as Bjerregaard beats idol Woods'. Print Edition | Subscribe