Sweden’s Kristoffer Broberg was almost lost for words after claiming his first European Tour title in style by defeating American Ryder Cup star Patrick Reed in a play-off for the BMW Masters.
Broberg birdied the first extra hole at Lake Malaren in Shanghai after he and Reed had finished tied on 17 under par, with overnight leader Thongchai Jaidee, Byeong Hun An and Henrik Stenson all missing birdie putts on the 72nd hole to get into the play-off.
“It’s a dream come true,” Broberg said after a closing 68. “I have worked so hard all my life for this. I have no words. I’m just so happy to win on the main tour, because I won four times on the Challenge Tour.
“The players out here are really, really good and this field is just a really good field. So I’m just happy to beat all of them. This means a lot to me.
“I didn’t trust myself a few weeks ago, I could never win here. I was just so down and I’m so happy right now.”
Reed held a one-shot lead with two holes to play after holing out from 100 yards from a fairway bunker on the 15th for eagle and carding his fifth birdie of the day on the next.
However, the 25-year-old then bogeyed the 17th and was furious to leave a birdie putt short from 12 feet on the 18th, tapping in for par before throwing his ball into the lake surrounding the green.
That left Broberg with a birdie putt from a similar distance to effectively seal the win, but he also left it short before Jaidee and An, playing in the group behind, failed to convert their opportunities as well.
The players returned to the 18th for sudden death and after Reed found a greenside bunker with his approach and splashed out to four feet, Broberg made no mistake with his birdie attempt to secure victory.
“I hit a good swing with my driver, a long one down the left side and a pure nine iron into the green and made the putt,” added Broberg, who was using a putter he found in the bag of his coach’s wife last week.
Reed was disappointed not to close out the win after wiping out his two-shot deficit to Broberg in style on the 15th, where his third shot pitched 12 feet behind the flag and span back into the hole.
“I played great,” Reed said after a closing 67. “Going into today I knew I had to go shoot a low number. On 17 I thought I hit a good chip and hit a perfect putt that didn’t go in. Unfortunately I left the putt short on 18 and unfortunately in the play-off left the bunker shot short, which I didn’t think was possible.
“Of course we’re not happy and not pleased with the result. But at the end of the day, if you would have told me I would have come over and finish second, I wouldn’t have teed it up this week, I would have taken it and left.
“It was a solid week and just have to build on it and have to do things just a little bit better to get in the winner’s circle. I think five of my last seven events I’ve finished inside the top 10. It’s a definite improvement.
“Obviously it shows the things I’m working on are getting better because last year it seemed like I started off strong with a win but kind of was flat throughout the rest of the year. We’re doing the right things. Just need to keep on plugging along and hopefully close one out here shortly.”
Stenson, who had surged into contention with five birdies in six holes from the 11th, shared second place with Jaidee, An and Lucas Bjerregaard, with Justin Rose and Paul Casey a shot further back.
Sergio Garcia was just a shot off the lead with two holes to play but bogeyed the 17th and then found water twice on the last to run up a double bogey and finish 13 under alongside Ryder Cup team-mate Ian Poulter, who missed from two feet for a birdie on the 13th to tie the lead and also bogeyed the 15th and 17th.
England’s Danny Willett needed to be alone in 28th or better to overtake Rory McIlroy in the Race to Dubai, but finished tied 28th with two other players and trails by 1,613.37 points heading into the season-ending DP World Tour Championship.
Marc Warren closed with a 66 to finish as top Scot on five-under, two ahead of Stephen Gallacher (68) and three better than Richie Ramsay (69).
In finishing joint-46th, Gallacher was unable to improve on his 61st position in the Race to Dubai. However, with Sergio Garcia having decided not to play in the season-ending event, the Scot will join Warren and Ramsay in this week’s DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates.