In-form Alex Noren made it three European Tour titles in eight appearances with another impressive display of front-running at the British Masters over the weekend.
The Swede also tasted victory on British soil in July at the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open and in Switzerland last month at the Omega European Masters, and he sealed his trio of titles with a closing 69 at The Grove to finish two shots clear of Austrian Bernd Wiesberger
Noren, who received the trophy from tournament host Luke Donald, had started the day with a three shot lead and birdied the opening two holes to extend that advantage.
Two bogeys in four holes either side of the turn gave some hope to the chasing pack, but birdies on the 15th and 18th holes proved decisive as Noren finished on 18 under par to earn his seventh European Tour victory – a win which moves him up to fourth place in The Race to Dubai.
“It’s an amazing feeling to win three times. Honestly I never thought this would happen,” said Noren.
“I’ve been working on the whole game and not being too picky on hitting this and this shot and staying on the range for six hours, coming home kind of devastated that I’m not pulling the right shots off.”
“I’m trying to look at it a little bit more long term and enjoy golf a bit more. I love playing golf and that’s just how it should be, and not trying to put too much pressure on myself and look this way or that way and just find something that worked and then played with it that day.”
Wiesberger has also been enjoying an impressive recent run of form, and his closing 67 for second place was his fourth straight top ten finish.
He said: “It was really, really good playing again. It wasn’t easy out there today. I didn’t drive it really well the first nine, which was really hard because I felt really comfortable with drives the first three days.”
He finished on 16 under par with England’s Lee Westwood, a future host of the tournament, a further shot back in third after also posting a round of 67.
Lee Westwood said: “I played well this week. I’ve hit the ball really well tee-to-green. On the greens, I’ve been very solid. The short game’s good. I felt pretty comfortable all week and it was nice to play well. The fans have been fantastic all week.”
Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell, the 2010 US Open Champion, shared fourth position on 13 under par with English pair Tommy Fleetwood and Richard Bland, Swede Peter Hanson and France’s Alex Levy.
Alex Noren What is in the bag
XR 16 sub-zero 8.5′ driver
XR 3 Fairway Wood
Apex 18′ hybrid
Apex pro 16 irons (4-9)
Mack Daddy 2 47′, 52′, 56′ and 60′ wedges
Odyssey works #1 putter
Chrome soft golf ball