Brilliant Bjork seals breakthrough win at Volvo China Open; Shubhankar finishes tied 14th
Beijing, April 29: Alexander Björk became the first Swede to lift the prestigious Volvo China Open trophy after he closed with a bogey-free seven-under-par 65 to win by one shot at the Topwin Golf and Country Club on Sunday.
The 27-year-old Björk, who started the round one shot back, rolled in seven birdies for a winning total of 18-under-par 270 and claimed his maiden title on both the Asian Tour and the European Tour in the CN¥20,000,000 (approx. US$3,178,000) event.
India’s Shubhankar Sharma carded a five-under 67 to finish tied 14th. “The week has been decent. It’s not great but it’s decent. I think I could have done a little bit better. I left a few shots out there but that’s golf. I am happy that I finished in double digits under-par,” said Shubhankar.
“I was sick earlier but not that sick. It was just slight fever and cold. It’s alright. I am happy to be leading the Asian Tour Habitat for Humanity Standings now but it’s still a long way to go for the season. I just have to keep building on my position. We will see what happens.”
Björk endured an anxious wait before his victory was confirmed after overnight co-leaders Matt Wallace of England and Adrian Otaegui of Spain failed to eagle the par-five 18th hole to force a play-off. He took home a winner’s prize purse of CN¥3,333,330 (approx. US$526,400).
Otaegui birdied the last to sign for a second straight 67 and finish in second place on his own. Wallace settled for a 68 following a closing par to share third place with countryman Jordan Smith (64) and Jorge Campillo (67) of Spain on 272.
Ashun Wu produced the shot of the day when his eight-iron tee shot from 158 yards found the bottom of the cup on the par-three 13th hole. It was the third hole-in-one of the week.
Wu, who won the tournament in 2015, signed for an eventual 67 to emerge as the highest-ranked Chinese player in tied-seventh position in the 24th edition of the Volvo China Open, which is tri-sanctioned by the Asian Tour, European Tour and the China Golf Association.
Scores after round 4 of the Volvo China Open being played at the par 72, 7261 Yards Topwin GcC course (am – denotes amateur):
270 – Alexander BJORK (SWE) 66-72-67-65.
271 – Adrian OTAEGUI (ESP) 68-69-67-67.
272 – Jordan SMITH (ENG) 69-69-70-64, Jorge CAMPILLO (ESP) 69-68-68-67, Matt WALLACE (ENG) 65-70-69-68.
273 – Lucas BJERREGAARD (DEN) 70-73-66-64.
274 – Ashun WU (CHN) 70-71-66-67, Jeunghun WANG (KOR) 72-66-68-68, Paul DUNNE (IRL) 71-68-67-68, Jinho CHOI (KOR) 69-72-65-68.
275 – Scott VINCENT (ZIM) 66-74-68-67, Sihwan KIM (USA) 70-66-70-69, Andrea PAVAN (ITA) 68-72-66-69.
276 – Shubhankar SHARMA (IND) 69-72-68-67, Daxing JIN (CHN) 64-76-69-67, Mikko ILONEN (FIN) 71-70-67-68, Soomin LEE (KOR) 68-69-70-69, Alexander LEVY (FRA) 69-73-65-69, Nacho ELVIRA (ESP) 69-67-70-70.
277 – Aaron RAI (ENG) 73-70-68-66, Ashley CHESTERS (ENG) 72-68-68-69, Jason SCRIVENER (AUS) 67-69-71-70, Matteo MANASSERO (ITA) 72-68-67-70, Julien GUERRIER (FRA) 68-69-68-72.
278 – Keith HORNE (RSA) 69-74-68-67, Joost LUITEN (NED) 70-69-70-69.