Waring seals maiden win in Sweden
Gothenburg, August 19: Paul Waring defeated Thomas Aiken in a play-off at the Nordea Masters to win his first European Tour title in his 200thappearance.
The two players were tied for the lead when they teed off the final round at Hills Golf Club and they could not be separated over 18 holes as both recorded rounds of 68 to get to 14 under par.
Englishman Waring, who has seen his career disrupted by injury since graduating from Qualifying School in 2007, only required one extra hole to finally get his hands on the trophy, after three-time European Tour winner Aiken put his tee shot into the water.
It had been a game of cat and mouse throughout the day between the two players. South African Aiken birdied the first to take the lead, but Waring responded with a long putt on the second hole.
An excellent approach into the third left Aiken with four feet for a birdie and he made no mistake to edge ahead again. After back-to-back bogeys for Aiken on the next two holes, Waring opened up a two-shot lead on the par three tenth.
A first bogey of the day on the 15th hole for the man from Liverpool cut the lead to one and Aiken got up and down from thesand on the last for a birdie to set up the play-off.
German Maximilian Kieffer finished with three birdies in a round of 65 to finish in third place at 13 under par, one shot clear of in-form Dane Thorbjørn Olesen. The result could prove be significant for Olesen, who moved into the automatic qualifying positions for the European Ryder Cup team via the World Points List.
Australian Lucas Herbert picked up six shots in his last seven holes to get to 11 under par, two shots clear of Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond, Italian Andrea Pavan, South Africa’s Haydn Porteous and Englishman Robert Rock.
“It’s 200th time lucky, isn’t it? I’ve been through a few ups and downs in my career with injuries, some good golf played. To finally get across the line, I’m absolutely ecstatic right now,” said Waring.
“I felt like I got myself into control on the back nine. I hit a few putts, hit the lip on 14, 15, 16, so I felt like I kind of kept it on my side. I got a bit lucky with the lie on 18 out of the bunker. I didn’t really give myself a shot and Thomas made birdie which put us back level. But it was nice to get it done on the first extra hole.
“I was always quite confident, I always felt like I had control of the golf ball to a point. I wasn’t too concerned with what other people were doing. I was very much in my own head, trying to look after the things I can control really.”
Thomas Aiken bounced back nicely: “I just couldn’t sink any putts. That was pretty much the story of the whole week. I don’t think I really sunk much outside of 15 feet the whole week.
“I gave myself a lot of chances, played good golf tee to green. Unfortunate the way that it finished, but it’s not the tee shot that suits me the most – hitting it left to right on the last. These things happen but a lot of positive things to take into the next few weeks.”