Weekend winners: Noren continues incredible run, Perez back with a bang
European Tour: Nedbank Golf Challenge – Alex Noren
The Swede has now incredibly moved inside the world’s top 10 after a fourth win in his last 11 starts. Noren is now up to third on the Race to Dubai having captured the Scottish Open, European Masters and British Masters. And he did it this time with the lowest round (to par) of the season, a brilliant 63 to overturn a six-shot deficit of Korea’s Wang Jeunghun.
Noren did all the damage in the first 11 holes, getting to nine under for the day after starting the front nine with three birdies and the back nine with an eagle and a chip-in birdie.
Wang was two behind after a birdie at the 14th to Noren’s only dropped shot but then dropped shots at the next two holes.
Wang, the winner back to back in Morocco and Mauritius earlier this season, held on to second ahead of Andy Sullivan, Branden Grace, Ricardo Gouveia, Alejandro Canizares and Victor Dubuisson.
Open champion Henrik Stenson was eighth while Danny Willett finished off a much improved weekend with a 69 to add to his 67.
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) November 13, 2016
What Noren said: “I don’t think I’ve ever played as good, especially on the greens. I’ve got a lot more confidence, having the lead and being up there, and the more you do that the more comfortable you become. Obviously it’s been the season of my life. I tried to get in this tournament for so many years, and when I got in here, to end up winning, it feels unbelievable.
“I was quite nervous coming into this round, playing with Stenson and playing with Grace, in front of a lot of people. And then after starting off the way I did I told myself, “You’ve got to believe you can win this,” and I kept hitting fairways and greens and making the putts and all of a sudden I had a great chance which I managed to take.”
PGA Tour: OHL Classic at Mayakoba – Pat Perez
The American claimed his second win on Tour, his first came at the Bob Hope in January 2009, having undergone shoulder surgery in March.
Perez has been in solid form since his return and his 62 on Saturday paved the way for a two-shot win over Gary Woodland, Scotland’s Russell Knox was third.
On Sunday in Mexico he managed a 67, with five birdies in the first eight holes, and his pursuers weren’t able to close the gap.
Woodland started the final round with a one-shot lead over Perez and he needed two closing birdies to take second. It was the fifth time in six occasions that Woodland has failed to convert a 54-hole lead or co-lead.
Pat Perez's last 14 starts…
Golf is a funny game. pic.twitter.com/Os65fwf3mI
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) November 13, 2016
What Perez said: “The layoff was great. I think I needed it mentally and physically after 18 years of playing professionally. It was just kind of a nice break. I’m so stubborn I needed a forced break.
“I’ve just been on this different attitude the last couple of weeks where I just try to stay aggressive and try to think of the right shot and a good shot and not worry about what happens. It’s really worked. I’ve been working on it the last nine months, since I got hurt. I just had a lot of confidence when I came back. I started about two and a half months ago. I didn’t think it was going to happen this fast, but I thought it was going to be pretty successful when I did come back.”