Sweden’s Alex Noren defeated Australia’s Scott Hend in a play-off to claim his second Omega European Masters after a thrilling finish at Crans-sur-Sierre in Switzerland. The win saw the 34-year-old gain 450,000 points to move from 12th to eighth position in the European Tour Race to Dubai rankings with 1,546,738 points for the season – his spot in DP World Tour Championship, taking place at Jumeirah Golf Estates from Thursday 17 to Sunday 20 November, already assured.
Race to Dubai rankings front-runner Danny Willett extended his lead by finishing tied-12th and gaining 40,905 points bringing him to a total of 3,209,845.
Noren birdied the first extra hole from 25 feet to claim his second European Tour title of the season – having won the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open in July – and the sixth of his career, after the pair had finished tied on 17 under par.
Noren, who also won the tournament in 2009, posted a scintillating front nine of 30, which included four birdies in a row, and led by two with four holes remaining.
But a birdie from the Australian on 15 and a bogey from the Swede when he three putted the 17th saw them tee up on the last all-square.
It was advantage Noren when he split the fairway after Hend hooked his tee shot into the trees, but the 43-year-old took on the brave recovery shot and was rewarded when his approach pitched 10 yards short of the green and bounced over the water.
Hend got up and down from the back of the green for par and when Noren could not convert a long birdie attempt, the pair returned to the 18th for the first hole of sudden death.
After again hooking his drive into the trees but seeing the ball bounce back onto the fairway, Hend only just cleared the water with his approach before chipping to five feet, but Noren clinched the win by holing his long birdie attempt.
Hend’s runner-up finish won him 300,000 points which saw him move from 26th to 17th in the Race to Dubai rankings and now has a season-total of 1,009,487.
“It was a fascinating duel in Switzerland between two great players and we look forward to welcoming them both back to Dubai for the DP World Tour Championship in November,” said Nick Tarratt, Director European Tour International Dubai Office. “Alex Noren posted his best finish at Jumeirah Golf Estates with a sixth place finish in our inaugural event back in 2009, but he’s enjoying one of the finest seasons of his career so it will be very interesting to see if he can improve on that this year.”
Englishman Andrew Johnston finished three strokes behind Hend in third place, with England’s Lee Westwood two shots further back after celebrating securing his 10th straight Ryder Cup appearance earlier in the week with a closing 63.
Johnston claimed 169,020 points which moved him from 22nd to 15th in the season rankings as his season-total increased to 1,039,154, while Westwood gained 135,000 points and thus solidified his position in ninth with a total of 1,379,310 points.
England’s Richard Bland and France’s Julien Quesne were tied-fifth and gained 104,490 points each. Bland moved from 38th to 32nd while Quesne moved from 39th to 34th.
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Pos Name Country Points
1 Danny WILLETT (ENG) 3,209,845
2 Henrik STENSON (SWE) 3,130,447
3 Rory MCILROY (NIR) 2,487,204
4 Rafa CABRERA BELLO (ESP) 1,804,178
5 Louis OOSTHUIZEN (RSA) 1,693,329
6 Branden GRACE (RSA) 1,684,680
7 Chris WOOD (ENG) 1,611,932
8 Alex NOREN (SWE) 1,546,738
9 Lee WESTWOOD (ENG) 1,379,310
10 Tyrrell HATTON (ENG) 1,374,435
11 Martin KAYMER (GER) 1,153,017
12 Sergio GARCIA (ESP) 1,122,072
13 Thomas PIETERS (BEL) 1,060,909
14 Andy SULLIVAN (ENG) 1,054,940
15 Andrew JOHNSTON (ENG) 1,039,154
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NOTES TO EDITORS
2016 DP World Tour Championship, Jumeriah Golf Estates
– Thursday 17 to Sunday 20 November
Tournament Patron: HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
The US$8million DP World Tour Championship is a world class sporting and social event and the final tournament of the European Tour’s Race to Dubai. Now celebrating its eighth year, the championship hosts the top 60 golfers on the European Tour on the Earth course at Jumeirah Golf Estates, Dubai. The tournament consists of 4 rounds of stroke-play with no cut and this year will be held over four days from Thursday 17 to Sunday 20 November 2016.
The DP World Tour Championship is the final tournament on The European Tour’s season-long Race to Dubai spanning 47 tournaments in 27 destinations across five continents.
An additional Bonus Pool of US$5 million will be split between the top ten finishers on the 2016 Race to Dubai.
DP World Tour Championship past winners: Lee Westwood (2009) Robert Karlsson (2010), Alvaro Quiros (2011), Rory McIlroy (2012), Henrik Stenson (2013, 2014) and Rory McIlroy (2015).
Race to Dubai past champions: Lee Westwood (2009), Martin Kaymer (2010), Luke Donald (2011), Rory McIlroy (2012), Henrik Stenson (2013) and Rory McIlroy (2014, 2015).
At the inaugural 2015 Dubai Sports Events Rankings Awards, the DP World Tour Championship won a 5 star-award, one of only four annual events in Dubai.
65,000 UAE residents and international spectators attended the event in 2015, taking advantage of both the free general admission tickets and hospitality tickets.
Coverage of the DP World Tour Championship continues to grow with global household TV reach exceeding 423 million.
A report published by Deloitte in 2015 revealed that the direct and indirect economic impact of golf in Dubai is a staggering $131m per annum. The total gross expenditure on golf in the emirate is $270m, a quarter of total sports expenditure, while the estimated economic impact of golf tourism in Dubai is $38m.
The 2016 DP World Tour Championship, Dubai is supported by the following partners:
Title Sponsor DP World
Host Venue Jumeirah Golf Estates Host Venue
Premium Partners Emirates Airline Official Airline
Rolex Official Timekeeper
BMW Official Car
Sponsors Atlantis -The Palm Official Hotel
7DAYS Official (English) Newspaper
Suppliers Worldwide Golf Official Golf Magazine
Dubai Eye 103.8 Official Radio
Mouton Cadet Official Wine
ProSports International Official Merchandiser
Canon Official Imaging Partner
FootJoy Official Apparel
Voss Official Water
Supporters Dubai Sports Council, Dubai Tourism, Emirates Golf Federation, Dubai Duty Free