European Masters proves a boon for Bjorn|
Crans Montana, Switzerland (Sports Network) - Thomas Bjorn birdied the first
playoff hole on Sunday to defeat Craig Lee and win the European Masters for
the second time.
Bjorn, who earned his 14th European Tour victory and first since capturing
this title in 2011, fired a 6-under-par 65 to overcome a 2-stroke overnight
deficit and meet Lee at 20-under 264 after 72 holes.
"I came in this week not playing particularly great but promised myself I'd
stick to how I play this golf course," said Bjorn.
Lee appeared poised to secure his first career European Tour win after
Saturday's course-record 61, but the Scotsman couldn't retain his overnight
advantage, shooting 4-under 67 in the final round and parring the playoff
Victor Dubuisson grabbed solo third at 19-under 265 with his second straight
66, while Alejandro Canizares carded a final-round 67 and placed fourth at
Miguel Angel Jimenez shot 67 at Crans-sur-Sierre and tied for fifth in his
25th consecutive European Masters appearance. The Spaniard finished alongside
Ross Fisher (66) at 15-under 269.
Lee opened with a birdie, but parred his next 10 holes, allowing a scorching
Bjorn to move ahead by a pair, as the 42-year-old notched five birdies during
a dazzling, outward 31.
Bjorn cooled around the turn with five straight pars, and Lee fought back,
tallying three birdies in a four-hole span from the 12th to leap in front at
Playing a group behind, Bjorn steadily matched Lee's birdie at the 15th to
square the match, and both golfers parred out to set up the playoff.
There, Lee found a fairway bunker off the tee, while Bjorn was safe in the
A deft recovery from the sand left Lee 20 feet from the cup, just outside of
Bjorn's ball. But Lee needed two putts from there, and Bjorn cooly drained his
birdie effort to seal another European Masters victory.
"It was nice to do that in a playoff," said Bjorn. "I've had a hard time
dealing with pressure situations and there is no more pressure than that."
NOTES: Bjorn played 47 European Tour events between victories ... This is the
second event Bjorn has won twice, the other being the BMW International Open
in 2000 and 2002 ... Bjorn improved to 3-2 in five European Tour playoffs.
This was Lee's first playoff appearance on tour ... This was the ninth playoff
of the European Tour season.
09/08 12:38:14 ET