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Sweden’s Michael Lundberg made seven birdies in his final round to sign for a 66 and make it into double figures under par, -10 would be enough to see him finish in third place.
Ricardo Gonzalez, who won last year’s Sergio Melpignano Senior Italian Open, carded the round of the day with a 65. Starting the day four shots behind the leader, he would be the one player asserting the most pressure. Out to the turn in -5, but having posted the clubhouse target at -13 he would eventually see his score finish up as one shot too many.
The man who brought the lead into the final day kept it – just! Patrik Sjöland made four birdies and a bogey on his way out to the turn, but it had been a nervy beginning.
A final round of 68 was good enough to take his first Legends Tour victory. The 52-year-old who is in his rookie season had been out of the professional game for seven years, but is delighted he made the decision to return.
“It’s a great feeling! It means a lot and it means that I obviously made the right decision to come back to the game of golf! I’ve enjoyed every moment of being on Tour this year and this is just unbelievably good.
“I can’t say that I don’t watch any leader boards because I know Ricardo was off to a good start and my legs were like jelly for the first four or five holes, but then I started to get into the rhythm and I hit some good shots, made some birdies and I was aware of what was going on all day. It felt good to have that feeling in the body again, that competitive battle that you go against yourself when you are up there. It was a tough one, but it feels really good now.
“I think that I put the ball in play off the tee quite a bit, hit a lot of greens and holed the putts when I needed. Made a great birdie on 16 today, probably the three best shots I hit today and that was a great feeling to at least have the lead going into 17 and 18.”
Watching the scores, not least that of Gonzalez, the Swede was able to manage his way around the back nine, including the way he played the final hole. Michael Jonzon was leading going down the last, last year, but drove it right into some bushes and lost his ball – going on lose a play-off to Paul Lawrie. Sjöland was ensuring he took that outcome out of the equation.
“I actually thought about what he did here last year when I was playing 18. I took a 5 wood and just tried to hit it, if it stayed short of the bunker then perfect, if it went in the bunker it wasn’t a big deal. I played 18 as a three-shot hole and tried to make a 5.”
This was the last event on European soil this season on the Legends Tour, with the players heading to the far east next for the Vinpearl DIC Legends Vietnam ahead of the season finale in Mauritius.