The Time Is Right for Noren

Mon 07 Sep 2009

The Time Is Right for Noren


Crans Montana, September 6: Alexander Noren soared with an eagle to secure a two-stroke victory at the Omega European Masters for his career breakthrough on Sunday.

The talented Swede held off former champion Bradley Dredge of Wales with a closing five-under-par 66 and will look back at a magical bunker shot on the par five 15th hole for eagle which pulled him clear of the chasing pack.


Dredge signed off with a 65 to come up just short of another title at the stunning Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club while Englishman Ross McGowan finished a further stroke back in third place following a 65 as well.


Holding an overnight two-shot advantage, Noren, whose season has been blighted by injuries, enjoyed the best of starts with two opening birdies as he took a firm grip of the prestigious tournament in the Swiss Alps.


He turned in 34 with two more birdies against two dropped shots but Dredge was on a title charge with an outward 32, highlighted by a chip-in eagle on nine.


Dredge tied Noren briefly with birdies on 10 and 11 before the Swede regained control with a birdie on 14. Noren then produced the shot of the tournament on 15. Two in the greenside bunker, he splashed his third shot which took one bounce before rolling straight into the hole for a two-shot lead which he maintained until the finish line.


"It feels unbelievable to be the champion here," said the Swede after receiving the trophy from Omega Ambassador Buzz Aldrin, the first man to walk on the moon with an Omega watch.


"I had doubted myself a lot over this year after the injuries and everything and I was wondering how the season was going but this is unbelievable.


"I have questioned myself a few times, wondered whether I was good enough to win here or whether I needed to change anything in my game. This week I really proved to myself that I could play well and go low for four rounds.


"The last time I had the lead going into the final round I played bad and finished 11th but today I probably only made a couple of mistakes by missing two short putts but I still shot five under and that proved a lot to me in terms of confidence."


Dredge said Noren's eagle was the turning point. "I played well on the front nine and nothing was happening and then I holed a nice third shot on nine (for eagle) and that kicked start my round. And then I birdied the next two as well.


"I couldn't really afford to make bogeys and pushed a drive on 12 on the short par four and took bogey there. I knew Alex had the power to get to the two par fives and that proved to be the big difference and then he holes that bunker shot on 15.


"I was relying on him to make mistakes in the last three holes but he played great and congratulations to him."


Asia's top performer was Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand, who took fifth place in the event which was jointly sanctioned with the Asian Tour for the first time.


Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain finished a stroke ahead of Jaidee in fourth place but the day belonged to Noren, who secured his maiden European Tour success in brilliant fashion.