Sweden’s Kristoffer Broberg kept his head when all those around him were losing theirs to claim a dramatic maiden victory on the European Tour at the BMW Masters in Shanghai.
Broberg birdied the first hole of a sudden-death playoff at Lake Malaren Golf Club to beat Patrick Reed, the US Ryder Cup star, after both players had finished on 17 under par in regulation play – in front of a record crowd of 23,500 spectators on Sunday.
Olaf Kastner, President and CEO, BMW Group Region China, presented the BMW Masters Trophy to the new champion and commented: “Congratulations to our new BMW Masters Champion, Kristoffer Broberg. He played fantastic golf over the past four days and can be proud of this title. Kristoffer and the other stellar players treated the 47,000 Chinese golf fans with a spectacular show at Lake Malaren Golf Club over the whole tournament week.”
As the final round unfolded, fans witnessed a feast of eagles and birdies from the cream of European golf. The lead changed hands several times, but while a number got into good positions from which to attack, most faded away over the finishing holes.
Among those who let slip were Sergio García (ESP), Ian Poulter (ENG), Paul Casey (ENG) and Lucas Bjerregaard (DEN). Thongchai Jaidee (THA) and Byeong-Hun An (KOR) both had putts to get into the playoff, but each just missed out.
Broberg collected a first prize of 1,166,600 US dollars – by far and away his biggest win as a professional – and moved from 61st in the Race to Dubai standings to 12th. “I’ve worked so hard all my life for this moment,” said the 29-year-old Swede. “I’m so happy to win on the main tour at last. A few weeks ago I was wondering if I ever would.”
At the start of the week, five players were in with a chance of overhauling Rory McIlroy (NIR) at the top of the Race to Dubai standings with just one tournament left to play – next week’s DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.
In the end, none of them did quite enough, although Danny Willett (ENG) closed the gap to a negligible 1,613 points. Justin Rose (ENG), who was lying fifth at the start of the week, moved up to third after finishing tied 7th at Lake Malaren.
Max Kieffer claimed the bragging rights from among the three-strong German contingent. The BMW Golfsport Ambassador finished on six under par, two strokes ahead of Martin Kaymer and seven in front of Marcel Siem, the winner in 2014. The leading Chinese player from the 13 in the field was Dou Zecheng, who finished on five under par.
In light of the events in Paris, the European Tour suspended play at noon when players, volunteers and spectators observed a minute of silence.