x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Big win for home hope Richard Johnson

Richard Johnson, the Swede, sinks a 30ft birdie putt on the final green to become only the second home winner of the Scandinavian Masters in the last 12 years.

Richard Johnson, the Swede, sank a 30ft birdie putt on the final green to become only the second home winner of the Scandinavian Masters in the last 12 years yesterday. With a play-off looming against Argentina's Rafa Echenique, the 33-year-old looked to have played safe with his approach to the 407-yard last at Bro Hof Slott near Stockholm. But months of putting woes in America - he is now based there, but has not had a single top-30 finish since February - were forgotten as he took his second European Tour title eight years after his first.

Johnson, whose regular caddie Lance Ten Broeck went and played in the British Senior Open instead and missed the cut, earned £223,689 (Dh1.267million) after a closing 71 gave him an 11-under-par total of 277. Johnson held the joint overnight lead with KJ Choi but the South Korean dropped out of contention by carding a 78. "It's one of the sweetest things I've ever done," Johnson said. "Just to come up the 17th and 18th is magical. This is a huge tournament to win for a Swede and I'm speechless right now. It's epic."

Italian Edoardo Molinari, winner of the Scottish Open two weeks ago, took another step towards a Ryder Cup debut - possibly alongside Francesco, his brother - by finishing third thanks to a 20ft last putt. That left Louis Oosthuizen, the British Open champion, in a tie for fourth with Australian Brett Rumford and New Zealander Mark Brown. "I didn't play well," said Oosthuizen after his 73. "I didn't drive well and it put everything under pressure. I had to push it at the end, but Richard played brilliantly. I'm a bit disappointed, but after last week I was hoping to make the cut and I finished fourth, so I'm happy."

He now heads back home for a week off and a party at his home club to celebrate his major victory. Bernhard Langer won the Senior British Open after surviving a final round chase by Corey Pavin. The German shot a 1-over 72 yesterday to finish at a five under 279 at Carnoustie - one stroke ahead of Pavin, the American, who shot a one under 70. Pavin, the American Ryder Cup captain, trailed by three shots at the start of the fourth round but cut the gap to two when he birdied his second hole of the day.

Langer survived three-putting both the 8th and 9th greens. After making birdie at 15, he parred his way to victory. * Agencies