After seeing his standing drop from first to fourth on Saturday, Alex Noren rallied to win the Nedbank Colf Challenge by a whopping six shots. It was his fourth European Tour title of the year.
He trailed Day 3 leader Jeunghun Wang by three strokes after 54 holes, but regained his top form and in the process jumped up to third in the Race to Dubai standings with 3,3367,126 points.
“I’ve tried to get in this tournament for so many years, and when I got in here, ending up winning, it feels unbelievable,” Noren said.
“All I was trying to do was hit the right shots at the right pieces of the green and putt uphill, and then not make too many bogeys. Because around here, I think you’ve got a few birdie chances. The front pins are easier and I think you’ve got a lot of opportunities, and if you just manage those little tricky ones, not making too many bogeys, you’ve got a chance around here.”
Fellow Swede Henrik Stenson finished eighth at the tournament, pushing him up to just over 4 million Race to Dubai points. Danny Willett, who rallied from an ugly start to finished tied for 11th, earning himself an additional 109,767 Dubai points.
Noren showed that Saturday’s 75 was a fluke as he recorded six birdies in his first eight holes, adding an eagle on 10 and a birdie on 11 to get to 9-under through 11 holes. Any hope of going sub-60 were dashed when he bogeyed No. 14, but bounced back with a birdie on 16.
After blazing a trail to the top of the leader board with an 8-under 64 on Saturday, and looked to continue that fine form with two birdies in his first four holes. The wheels started coming off the wagon from there as he bogeyed No 5 and double-bogeyed No. 8. He was still at even par through 12, then bogeyed four of the final six holes to shoot a 3-over 75.
Noren’s four wins in one year on the European Tour are tied for third-most all-time with a host of other players. The most wins by one player in a year is six by Seve Ballesteros in 1986. Ballesteros (1988), Nick Faldo (1983), Colin Montgomerie (1999), Lee Westwood (2000), and Tiger Woods (2006) all won five tournaments in a single season.