Sunday, March 3, 2024
HomegolfVincent Norrman surges to second title in two months after rain delay

Vincent Norrman surges to second title in two months after rain delay

COUNTY KILDARE, Ireland – Vincent Norrman of Sweden shot a seven-under 65 on Sunday for a one-stroke victory at the weather-delayed Irish Open.

Norrman, who improved 20 spots in the final 18 holes, shot a bogey-free round to finish at 14-under 274 at The K Club in Straffan, County Kildare.

“It means everything. It’s such a cool event, the fans have been incredible and I really had a fun week out there. I can’t believe this happened,” Norrman said after his second DP World Tour title in two months, following his triumph at the Barbasol Championship in July.

“I was starting off a little so-so, and I made two birdies and got a rain delay, had a coffee and then went out and flushed it. I knew there were a few chances out there. I didn’t really have a number in my head. I just tried to press on with some birdie looks and saved a few great pars too to keep the momentum going.”

His pursuers included third-round leader Hurly Long of Germany – an even-par 72 on Sunday to finish at 13 under – and Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy (74), who fell 13 spots down the leaderboard to tie for 16th.

Norrman carded his only unblemished round of the tournament, following rounds of 68, 71 and 70 with seven birdies on Sunday, including at the par-five 18th hole for the third time.

He made birdies at Nos. 7, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14 and 18.

“The front nine was huge. I birdied the seventh and ninth to get some momentum going into the back. I think that was key today,” he said.

“Obviously if you win, you’re doing something good. It’s a world-class event and, honestly, I can’t believe it’s happened.”

Long, who entered the day one stroke ahead of England’s Jordan Smith and two better than McIlroy, had an adventurous round. He birdied Nos. 4, 9, 12 and 18, but made bogey at Nos. 2, 8, 13 and 14.

Four players tied for third at 12 under – Grant Forrest (70) of Scotland, New Zealander Ryan Fox (70), Thriston Lawrence (66) of South Africa and Ireland’s Shane Lowry (68), the 2009 Irish Open champion.

“It’s obviously a tournament that I would love to win again,” said Lowry, who began the week facing questions about his Ryder Cup wild card after recording just one top-10 finish in 2023.

“I did my best and it’s been a great week. The crowds were incredible. It’s one of the best Irish Opens I can remember.”

McIlroy, ranked No. 2 in the world, birdied the first hole as well as No. 4, 13 and 18.

He also bogeyed the par-four No. 11, double-bogeyed the par-four No. 7 and posted an eight on the par-five No. 16, where he went par-eagle and bogey the first three rounds. REUTERS, AFP

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