(Reuters) - Ice-cool Swede Alex Noren held his nerve to clinch a fifth career victory on the European Tour by one shot at the Scottish Open in Inverness on Sunday.
Two strokes in front heading into the final round at Castle Stuart Golf Links, Noren was briefly caught in a tie at the top before pulling away with two birdies in the last seven holes to card a two-under-par 70.
The 33-year-old from Stockholm, who had been the 54-hole leader for each of his previous four wins on the circuit, posted a 14-under total of 274 to finish one ahead of England’s Tyrrell Hatton, who birdied the par-five 18th for a 69.
Belgium’s Nicolas Colsaerts closed with a 66 to share third place at 12-under with Italian Matteo Manassero (70) and New Zealand’s Danny Lee (69).
”I‘m so happy it’s over because it was a tough, tough leaderboard,“ Noren told reporters after shaking off Lee and Hatton with birdies at the 12th and 15th. ”A lot of guys at 11, 12, 13 under and it was just not a cruising win at all.
”Thinking about it this morning, how much it would mean, then it feels like miles away and now when it happens, it just feels unbelievable.
“I’ll just try to enjoy this. I know how tough this game is and I‘m just really happy to get a win.”
Colsaerts, Hatton, Manassero and Scotland’s Richie Ramsay, who tied for sixth after carding a 67, all earned themselves a place in next week’s British Open at Royal Troon via their top-12 finishes at Castle Stuart.
Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes; Editing by Ken Ferris