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.
England’s Danny Willett remains on top of the Race to Dubai rankings, with a total of 3,168,940 points, whilst 2013 and 2014 DP World Tour Championship winner Sweden’s Henrik Stenson is in second with 3,130,447points.
Reigning Race to Dubai champion Ireland’s McIlroy sits in third place with 2,487,204 points. Spaniard Rafa Cabrera Bello is in fourth with a total of 1,804,178 points and South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen rounds up the top five with a season-total of 1,693,329.
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