Round-up: Thorbjorn Olesen powers away in Perth

Thorbjorn Olesen: Three-shot win. Picture: Getty
Thorbjorn Olesen: Three-shot win. Picture: Getty
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Thorbjorn Olesen of Denmark cantered to a three-shot victory at the Perth International to win his second European Tour title after a gap of two years.

The 24-year-old Olesen, who had an overnight lead of 
three strokes, finished with a one-under-par 71 in the final round for a total of 17-under.

Frenchman Victor Dubuisson scorched the Lake Karrinyup course with a blemish-free round of 66 to climb up the leaderboard for second spot. England’s Mark Foster finished a stroke further back on 12-under for outright third. The leading Scot was David Drysdale, who finished a shot behind Foster.

Olesen, who won his first and only European Tour title in 
Sicily two years ago, made the turn on one-under and came under pressure after having two bogeys in the next three holes to see his lead cut to one stroke. But he responded strongly with birdies on the 13th and 15th to restore his advantage.

“It was tough – they were not easy conditions today,” Olesen said after pocketing the winner’s cheque of 198,300 euros.

“I missed a few short putts today in the middle of the round and I think that the lead got down to one shot, but I was just thinking about getting my round back to under par, keeping focused and seeing if I could make a few birdies coming in.

“It was a tough day but it was worth it – that walk down 18 was beautiful.

“My driving and a couple of three-woods were off line which made it tricky, but I made some great putts coming in. It’s been a couple of years since I won last time, so this gives me a lot of confidence and belief for the last bit of the season. This has been a great week and I’ve really 
enjoyed being here.”

Also in Australa, home teenager Antonio Murdaca clinched a dream berth at the US Masters after winning the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship with a stunning seven-stroke win in Melbourne.

The Adelaide-born 19-year-old tore up Royal Melbourne’s famed sandbelt course to upstage a field dripping with Asian talent, including China’s Guan Tianlang, who won the 2012 event to become Augusta’s youngest-ever qualifier at the age of 14.

A two-time national junior champion, Murdaca took an eight-stroke lead into the final round and gave his opponents no hope as he carded a one-under 71 on a sun-drenched day to finish with a 13-under total of 275, seven ahead of Japan’s Horikawa Mikumu.

“I’m so happy, I’m over the moon right now,” said Murdaca after punching the air upon sinking his last putt and embracing his caddie. “Can’t wait to speak to my parents. I’m sure they’re just like me, so excited and happy.”

Making his first appearance in the tournament, Murdaca was ranked ninth of the ten Australians in the field but upstaged his more-fancied compatriots to also secure an exemption into the final stage of qualifying for the Open at St Andrews.

“(The Open) would be awesome to qualify for. I played St Andrews earlier this year, so I reckon I might have a chance there.”

Guan underlined his enormous talent by making the cut at the 2013 Masters and finished as the tournament’s leading amateur, but had to settle for a tie for fifth on 286 at Royal Melbourne with compatriot Dou Zecheng and Taiwan’s Pan Cheng-Tsung.

“I had fun this week,” said Guan, who celebrated his 16th birthday on Saturday.

Robert Streb held his nerve to win his first PGA Tour title in a play-off with fellow American Will MacKenzie and Zimbabwe’s Brendon de Jonge for the $5.6 million McGladrey Classic at Sea Island in Georgia last night.

Streb sealed victory by sinking a four-foot birdie putt at the second extra hole, the par-three 17th, where de Jonge narrowly missed his birdie attempt from 18 feet.

MacKenzie, seeking to end a six-year title drought on the PGA Tour, was eliminated at the first extra hole, the par-4 18th, where he bogeyed after failing to get up and down from a greenside bunker.

The trio had finished the 72 regulation holes on 14-under-par 266, de Jonge closing with a five-under 65 on the Seaside Course, MacKenzie carding a 68 and Streb firing a best-of-the-day 63.

Twenty-fours earlier MacKenzie hit a hole-in-one to take a share of the lead. Despite hitting the ace on the front nine, MacKenzie explained how the experience was “boring” after there was confusion over whether he had actually managed the feat or not. “Most anti-climactic hole-in-one I ever had,” he said on the PGA Tour website. “I made a hole-in-one. It means nothing other than it was a 1 on the scorecard. It was just the most boring hole-in-one ever.”