Sunday, 17 August 2008

Hanson survives back nine bogeys to win the SAS Masters (which doesn't stand for Super Army Soldiers)

It was a good day for Peter Hanson, even if it was wet, windy and bitterly cold. He became the first Swede in a decade to capture his national title, winning by a single shot from fellow countryman Pelle Edberg and Englishman Nick Dougherty. It was far from plain sailing for Hanson though as a shaky back nine threatened to open the door for the others. Standing four shots in front with eight to play, he was rocked by a double-bogey on 11 and when bogeys followed on 16 and 17 it appeared the wheels might come off the cart; but he hung in to take his narrow victory. It pushes Hanson up from 24th to 17th and he now be heading to Holland to compete in this week's KLM Open, cancelling his planned week off now his Ryder Cup chances have considerably improved.

This was Dougherty's second consecutive runner-up placing at the SAS Masters, and while a win was what he was really after, the €132,000 he picks up have done his qualification hopes a world of good. He will be especially happy with his performance after tweaking his back last night, which he then exacerbated in attempting to warm up in the gym last night.

"What a day. If my chiropractor had been here he might have told me to pull out, so I'm glad he wasn't. After all I've been through I was going to finish no matter what."

€132,000 should cover the old chiropractor bills anyhow. It's nice to see Dougherty get a good performance this weekend, after a hard year in which he's had to deal with the loss of his mother. He can now kick on into the last two tournaments with a bit of confidence again, back problems permitting.

Martin Kaymer had a closing 69 to leave himself only €250 off the tenth placed Soren Hansen who in deciding not to play here has given Kaymer, Dougherty, Peter Hanson and a few others the chance to really close the gap. Let's hope for his sake the rest has done him good.

Chris Wood finished in joint eighteenth, a creditable debut for the young man who even had to contend with a bout of food poisoning this weekend. He has invitations to the KLM and Johnnie Walker, as well as the British Masters in which he can attempt to avoid the qualifying school by racking up £150,000. About €20,000 for this weeks work wasn't a bad way to kick off that attempt.

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