England’s Matt Wallace produced a magical final round at the Made in Denmark to pick up his third European Tour title of the season and move into the top 20 of the European Tour’s Race to Dubai, after coming through a thrilling play-off with 2009 DP World Tour Championship winner Lee Westwood, Steven Brown, and Jonathan Thomson.
The former Challenge Tour player, who earned his European Tour playing privileges by winning the 2017 Open de Portugal, birdied six of his last nine holes in regulation to seal his spot in the play-off. The 33 year old picked up another shot on the first extra hole to walk back up the 18th with Brown after Westwood and Thomson fell at the first hurdle.
Wallace cooly birdied the 18th the third time in a row to pick up his fourth European Tour title at Silkeborg Ry Golf Club after Brown could only make par. With the win, Wallace moves from 21st to 17th in the Race to Dubai Rankings with 1,451,639 points for the season.
“Matt has gone from strength to strength since winning his European Tour card in 2017,” said Nick Tarratt, Director European Tour International Dubai Office. “It’s great to see the Challenge Tour producing elite players and Matt has certainly showed that with his third win of the season. If he continues this fine form he will be a real threat at his first DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates.”
Wallace, who claimed his second play-off win of the year after defeating Andrew Johnston at the Hero Indian Open, secured the win in front of Ryder Cup Captain Thomas Bjørn at his home club.
“I think I have given Thomas something to think about,” said Wallace ahead of Bjørn selecting his four wildcard selections on September 5. “That was the plan. I put myself under pressure, the last couple of days by saying I want to give him a headache.
“I’ve stepped up to the mark and I’ve shown him exactly what I’m about. If he doesn’t pick me, then that’s absolutely fine. But I’ve shown him everything that I’m about, and if he doesn’t, then so be it, but if he does, he knows he’s going to get exactly that in his team.”
Westwood, who held a one-stoke victory heading into the final round, looked set for his first win on the European Tour since 2014 but fell just short after he could only make par on the first play-off hole. The Ryder Cup Vice Captain is on the verge of confirming his place in the DP World Tour Championship after jumping from 55th to 43rd on 658,644 points.
Meanwhile, Thorbjørn Olesen will make his debut at The Ryder Cup after Matthew Fitzpatrick and Eddie Pepperell failed to finish at the top of the leaderboard to gain the final automatic spot.
“Relief is my first emotion, that’s for sure,” said the Dane. “It’s been a tough week, a long week. It’s been difficult but it’s been great to learn that different kind of pressure. I think I handled it pretty well. There were a couple of things that could have been better, but it was a tough week and I feel pretty happy now.
Cannot put into words how happy I am right now! It’s always been my dream to be a Ryder Cup Player, but it’s going to be even more special with my great friend @ThomasBjornGolf as captain! Bring it on 🇪🇺🇩🇰 pic.twitter.com/p8L3Pxz6ql
— Thorbjørn Olesen (@Thorbjornolesen) September 2, 2018
“To make the team automatically probably makes it that little bit more special, but it’s nice to place yourself in the team, and being inside that top eight will probably make me feel a little bit more comfortable when I get to The Ryder Cup. I’m happy and I’m very proud of myself, the way I’ve done things this summer and I’ve handled myself.”
The top three in the Race to Dubai remains unchanged with Italy’s Francesco Molinari leading the way on 4,635,909 points, the USA’s Patrick Reed in second place with 3,057,948 points and reigning Race to Dubai champion, England’s Tommy Fleetwood, in third place with 2,805,042 points.
The DP World Tour Championship takes place at Jumeirah Golf Estates from Thursday 15 to Sunday 18 November.