(Reuters) - Denmark’s Thomas Bjorn won the European Masters in Switzerland for the second time in three years on Sunday after edging out Scotland’s Craig Lee in a playoff at Crans-sur-Sierre.
The 42-year-old holed a beautifully weighted birdie putt at the first extra hole, the par-four 18th, to earn the 14th win of his long career and put himself back in the world’s top 50.
Overnight leader Lee came within a whisker of his first Tour victory when his 20-foot birdie putt on a rainy 18th green caught the right lip and stayed out, meaning he was tied on 20 under with Bjorn who sat watching in the clubhouse.
Bjorn’s putter was hot all day with eight single putts in his first nine holes on his way to a six-under final round of 65 which lifted him to the top of the leaderboard.
“I had a really good run in the summer and really wanted to get out and win again,” Bjorn, who dropped only two shots in his four rounds, told Sky Sports.
“I promised myself I would stick with how I know how to play this course. I just had to stay focused which is why I don’t smile much on the course.”
Lee, who carded a spectacular 10-under 61 on Saturday to start the final round two shots clear, began with a birdie but had to wait until the 12th to gain another shot, by which time Bjorn appeared to have taken charge.
However, as fog rolled in off the mountains Lee made birdies at 14 and 15 to move back into a share of the lead and came agonizingly close to glory at the last.
The 36-year-old’s consolation for his near miss was securing his Tour card for next season.
France’s Victor Dubuisson finished a shot back on 19 under after a final round 66 and Spain’s Alejandro Canizares settled for a 67 to finish on 18 under at the picturesque Swiss resort.
Writing by Martyn Herman, Editing by Tom Bartlett