Omega European Masters

Omega European Masters

Omega European Masters
Crans Montana, Switzerland
Winner: Sebastian Soderberg

Four players had a putt on the 18th green at Crans-sur-Sierre to win the Omega European Masters. They were joined in a five-man playoff by Rory McIlroy, who followed five birdies in six holes with a sliced drive into the trees at the 18th. McIlroy had to chip out sideways before the World No. 2 hit a wedge from 122 yards to a foot.

Sebastian Soderberg, a 28-year-old from Gothenburg, who had the best chance of a winning birdie in regulation time, finished the playoff at the first extra hole with a 10-foot putt for a three. He had to watch as both Finland’s Kalle Samooja and McIlroy had chances to stay alive but missed. Italy’s Lorenzo Gagli, whose drive in the playoff hit a female spectator, and Andres Romero, the 54-hole leader who almost holed from long range on the 72nd hole, made up the playoff. Adri Arnaus and Mike Lorenzo-Vera both finished one back.

Soderberg, who lost his card in his rookie season on the European Tour in 2017 but regained his status by finishing fifth on the Challenge Tour in 2018, was playing in his 50th European Tour event and not sure of saving his card again. He did so in glorious fashion with five birdies in a row from the 10th while playing alongside McIlroy, who had won the FedExCup the previous Sunday. A three-putt for bogey at the 17th and a tentative attempt on the 18th might have betrayed his nerves, but he made no mistake in the playoff.

“I’ve dreamt of winning on the European Tour, even better doing it this way,” said Soderberg. “I was more nervous in the beginning than I was towards the back nine. Just playing with Rory, there are so many people around. Playing with a guy like that adds heat to it right away. I didn’t really know that I was ready to win, I was just trying to keep my card for next year. It’s a surreal way to do it.”


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