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.

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.

Did you know?

  • Alexander Björk claimed his breakthrough win in what was his 44th start on the European Tour.
  • The victory will move him into the top-80 in the world, potentially to as high as 72nd, up from 115th on the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR).
  • Björk has never fell outside top-10 in all four rounds of the Volvo China Open this week. He found 10 fairways, missed two greens and needed only 28 putts around the greens in his solid closing round of 65.
  • Björk dropped only four bogeys the whole week. He had stayed bogey-free in his final 24 holes.
  • Björk turned professional in 2009 and has previously won once on the Challenge Tour.
  • Björk is playing in his second attempt at the Volvo China Open this week. He missed the halfway cut last year.
  • Adrian Otaegui, 25, is a Spanish player who is based in Dubai. He turned professional in 2011 and won his maiden European Tour title at the Saltire Energy Paul Lawrie Match Play in 2017.
  • Otaegui is mentored by his countryman and idol, former Major champion JosĂ© MarĂ­a Olazábal, having played most of his junior golf at his local golf club in the seaside resort of Fuenterrabia, where Olazábal was born and raised.
  • Matt Wallace claimed his second European Tour title and first Asian Tour victory at the 2018 Hero Indian Open last month.
  • Wallace broke a number of records when he won five times in five consecutive starts on the Alps Tour in 2016. He won a total of six titles that year to win the Order of Merit.
  • Jeunghun Wang completed back-to-back victories with a come-from-behind one-shot triumph in the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open, barely a week after he had broken through in Morocco in 2016.
  • The 22-year-old Wang is a three-time European Tour winner and one-time Asian Tour winner.
  • Wang enjoyed a stellar season in 2014 where he didn’t miss a single cut in 16 straight events on the Asian Tour.
  • Ashun Wu is a former winner of the Volvo China Open in 2015. He sank his career’s third hole-in-one on the par-three 13th hole with an eight-iron from 158 yards in the final round of the 2018 Volvo China Open. It is also the third hole-in-one this week. 

Players’ quotes:

Alexander Bjork (Swe) – Final round 65 (-7), Total 270 (-18)

It’s great to know that I am the first Swede to win the prestigious tournament. It sounds pretty good. I am super happy. I would say the birdie on 17 was good. I knew I had a good chance on 18. I know I will have a good chance if I can make par on 18.

It’s tough to describe the emotions right now but I am really very happy. I am very proud of myself. The way I played today, it’s probably one of the best rounds of golf that I have ever played.

I didn’t make any mistakes today. I am super happy. I have been striking the ball so good off the tee and I putted great on the greens as well. It has been so solid. It’s easy to play around when you feel like your swing is there.

It’s really nice to be working out well for me today since it’s the final round and the pressure comes on. I still hit good shots all the way. I didn’t look at the leaderboard too much on the first nine holes.

From 12, I knew I was up in the leaderboard and I saw Jordan Smith finished on -16 so I knew I had to make birdies coming down the stretch. That helped me to stay positive and give me the strength to make birdies instead of trying to play safe.

That was important for me to try and make birdies. I had mixed feelings on the last. I was happy with the par save but obviously I would want to finish with a birdie. It’s a tough hole to make an eagle on the last as well. I thought I had a pretty good chance but you never know.

You never think you were going to win. You hope it will happen. I had a really good feeling this morning actually. I was less nervous than how I would usually be before the final round. I guess it was meant to be today. I missed out on the win in Hong Kong earlier this season. I had a bad finish. It was my turn to win today so I am very happy.

Adrian Otaegui (Esp) – Final round 67 (-5), Total 271 (-17)

I am happy with my second-place finish at the Volvo China Open. I hit a three-wood left and I knew it was a good spot to miss on the left. It was about 35 meters short. It was a difficult putt to make but I managed to make a good up-and-down there for birdie.

Matt Wallace (Eng) – Final round 68 (-4), Total 272 (-16)

It was gutting. I hit one of the best shots that I have ever hit into the last hole. Get no lie, no shot and then missed the putt to finish tied-third.

I played great. When you play great, you want to win. You want to know you can win. I kind of got a little bit unlucky with every bad shot that I hit today. I probably hit three bad shots today.

I had to chip outside where you saw on the third hole and had a really bad lie on the 10th to make bogey. I will learn from it and I will come back stronger again. It’s hard to take right now.

Jeunghun Wang (Kor) – Final round 68 (-4), Total 274 (-14)

I played really good this week. I was hitting the ball really well. I didn’t miss a lot of short putts today but I missed a lot of putts for birdies today. It’s pretty disappointing but overall, I am happy with my result. It’s always good to finish inside top-10.

I made a good birdie on the 11th hole. I hit driver off the tee but went into the bunker. I hit a great shot out from the bunker to about two feet and made the birdie putt. That’s the highlight for me.

I wasn’t thinking much out there. I tried my best not to think about anything. I just want to play my own game. I think that worked for me, especially on my front nine.

Ashun Wu (Chn) – Final round 67 (-5), Total 274 (-14)

It was a fantastic day. I made a hole-in-one on the 13th hole today. The wind was blowing from left to right. I hit an eight-iron from 158 yards and the ball landed two yards short of the pin before rolling into the hole.

It was very nice. I didn’t see it but everyone told me it went in. They were all cheering. This is the third hole-in-one in my career.

I didn’t play so good in my front nine but I played really good on the back. I am very happy with my overall performance. It’s been a great week playing at home. I enjoyed it a lot. I love the golf course. It’s in very good conditions this week.

Many thanks to my friends and family members who came down to support me this week. The home crowd was awesome.

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 – Daxing JIN (CHN) 64-76-69-67, Shubhankar SHARMA (IND) 69-72-68-67, 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.

For full results, please click here.

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