Lucas Bjerregaard produced a birdie blitz at the Portugal Masters to capture his maiden European Tour title.
The Dane fired 24 birdies for the tournament and signed for the equal-best final round, a six-under 65, to outlast Marc Warren by four shots and deny Scotland its first win on the European Tour since 2015.
“I’ve played out here for four years now, and been in contention a few times and never really made it,” Bjerregaard said. “So to do it now, feels amazing. You start to doubt it’s ever going to happen, and you know you need a week where it all comes together.”
The 26-year-old shot out of the gate, carding four birdies from his first eight holes, and sealed the deal with another at the par-5 17th.
Bjerregaard had been struggling prior to Portugal, recording just two top-10 finishes for the year, but has now jumped to 47th in the Race to Dubai standings.
“It has been a terrible year so far for me, so I knew I needed a couple of good weeks to keep my card,” Bjerregaard said. “To win here, it changes a lot … It means a lot to me.”
It was an act of pure determination from Bjerregaard, who had a previous history of taking the foot off the gas when he got near the top of scoreboards.
“I feel like I went out there and took it a bit more, where I think maybe before, I think I hoped that someone would kind of hand it to me or kind of fall in front of me,” Bjerregaard said.
Meanwhile, Marc Warren’s runner-up finish ensures Scotland’s drought on the European Tour continues, with no Scot winning an event since Richie Ramsay in 2015.
Warren does however move to 100th in the Race to Dubai, meaning he is a realistic chance of retaining his playing card.
Jason Scrivener was Australia’s best, finishing in a tie for 29th following a disappointing weekend. The West Australian was just two shots off the lead heading into the third round, before a one-over 73 effectively ended his chances.
Wade Ormsby (T34) and Todd Sinnott (T52) were the only other Aussies to make the cut.