Swede Richard Johnson sank a 30-foot birdie putt on the final green to become only the second home winner of the Scandinavian Masters in the last 12 years today.
With a play-off looming against Argentina’s Rafa Echenique, the 33-year-old looked to have played safe with his approach to the 407-yard last at Bro Hof Slott near Stockholm.
But months of putting woes in America – he is now based there, but has not had a single top-30 finish since February – were forgotten as he took his second European Tour title eight years after his first.
Johnson, whose regular caddie Lance Ten Broeck went and played in the British Senior Open instead and missed the cut, won out after a closing 71 gave him an 11-under-par total of 277.
“It’s one of the sweetest things I’ve ever done,” he said. “Just to come up the 17th and 18th is magical.
“This is a huge tournament to win for a Swede and I’m speechless right now. It’s epic.”
Italian Edoardo Molinari, winner of the Scottish Open two weeks ago, took another step towards a Ryder Cup debut – possibly alongside his brother Francesco – by finishing third thanks to a 20-foot last putt.
That left Open champion Louis Oosthuizen in a tie for fourth with Australian Brett Rumford and New Zealander Mark Brown.
“I didn’t play well,” said Oosthuizen after his 73. “I didn’t drive well and it put everything under pressure.
“I had to push it at the end, but Richard played brilliantly. I’m a bit disappointed, but after last week I was hoping to make the cut and I finished fourth, so I’m happy.”
He now heads back home for a week off and a party at his home club to celebrate his Major victory.