Grove fans hail Alexander the Great after Noren win

Sun Oct 16, 2016 1:06pm EDT
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By Tony Jimenez

WATFORD, England (Reuters) - Alexander Noren underlined his status as Europe's hottest golfer by grabbing a third victory in eight events at the British Masters on Sunday, becoming the first man to win three times on the tour in 2016.

The 34-year-old took a three-stroke lead into the final round at The Grove course just outside London and the Swede was never headed as he compiled a closing two-under-par 69 for an 18-under aggregate of 266.

Noren, who also won the Scottish Open in July and last month's European Masters in Switzerland, finished two strokes clear of Austrian Bernd Wiesberger (67).

Former world number one Lee Westwood ended a miserable run of form as a 67 secured third place on 269, two ahead of fellow Englishmen Tommy Fleetwood and Richard Bland, Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell, Alexander Levy, of France, and Swede Peter Hanson.

Asked if he could ever have imagined winning three times in one season, Noren replied: "No, I didn't see that.

"I'll never believe in myself that much to believe it, it's amazing to be here now. I know golf is a tough game and I'll try to stay humble."

After torrential overnight rain left some greens flooded, causing a brief suspension in play, Noren served early notice of his intentions with a birdie-birdie blast at the start.

The Swede, who has also reeled off seven top 10-finishes in his last 15 appearances, then suffered a hiccup with bogeys at the eighth and 11th.   Continued...

Britain Golf - British Masters - The Grove, Hertfordshire - 16/10/16
Sweden's Alex Noren celebrates winning the British Masters with his wife Jennifer Kovacs and child
Action Images via Reuters / Paul Childs