Denmark’s Lasse Jensen will join the world’s leading players at the 145th Open at Royal Troon after qualifying at the Nordea Masters in Sweden today.
The Nordea Masters, played at Bro Hof Slott Golf Club near Stockholm, is the fifth event in The Open Qualifying Series and a place in golf’s oldest Championship was available to the leading player, not already exempt, in the top five and ties.
Jensen produced a memorable final round surge to secure his Major Championship debut on the Ayrshire coast from July 14-17. After dropping a shot at the 2nd hole, the 31-year-old from Copenhagen sprang to life at the sixth where he holed his seven iron approach from 152 yards for an eagle.
Another eagle followed at the par five 13th and a birdie at the 15th meant that Jensen, whose best finish so far this season was a tie for 11th at the Alfred Dunhill Championship in South Africa in November, carded a four-under-par 68 to finish on 13-under-par for the championship, three shots behind the winner Matthew Fitzpatrick, who is already exempt for The Open.
‘It’s a huge thing because it will be my first major so for me to be in The Open is pretty awesome,’ said Jensen.
‘I have always wanted to play in The Open because it has so much history and tradition that has built up around it. I’m over the moon about the thought of it.
‘When I came down the 18th I could see that I had a chance of it and I grabbed it and it feels great. As a little kid you watch The Open and it’s the best players in the world – that’s why I play golf, that’s why we’re here to compete with the best players.’
Two-time European Tour winner Nicolas Colsaerts spent much of the day in second place as he chased Fitzpatrick, and an eagle at the ninth gave him momentum, but the Belgian’s challenge faded on the par three 17th, where his tee shot found the water and he took a double bogey. A birdie at the last left him on 12-under-par.
Swedes Henrik Stenson, who is already in the field for Royal Troon, and Bjorn Hellgren, finished in a tie for fourth on 10-under-par.