Soren Kjeldsen wins Irish Open

Soren Kjeldsen has held his nerve to become the third Danish-born winner of the Irish Open after a birdie at the first extra play-off hole on the Royal County Down course.

The 40-year old London-based player went into the final leading by two shots on Sunday but saw that disappear after starting his final round with back-to-back bogeys.

Kjeldsen then slipped further behind with a double bogey at the eighth before coming to the last hole and needing a par to join England’s Eddie Pepperell (69) and Austrian Bernd Wiesberger (73) in a play-off.

Kjeldsen then holed a four-foot birdie putt at the first extra hole to also end a six-year winless drought in capturing a fourth Tour victory.

And there was the added bonus for Kjeldsen as he secured a place at July’s Open Championship, the third major of the season, at St Andrews.

Among the first to greet Kjeldsen was world No 1 and tournament host Rory McIlroy who missed the halfway cut.

Australian Richard Green finished four shots off the winner with a final round score of 72, while countryman Marcus Fraser tied for 43rd and Andrew Dodt and Scott Hend brought up the rear, both tying for 65th.

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