7 Birdies in 8 Holes -- Wallace Passes Van Rooyen, Wins Made in Denmark in Playoff
September 3, 2018
AARHUS, Denmark -- If Sunday was an audition for the European Ryder Cup team, then Matt Wallace got the part.
The 28-year-old English professional was merely treading water at Silkeborg Ry GC for the first 12 holes in the final round of the Made in Denmark tournament, playing those holes in even par. But then he went on a rampage, birdying five of the last six holes in regulation to shoot 67 and earn a place in a four-man playoff. As if that weren't impressive enough, he proceeded to birdie both of the extra holes in the playoff.
In other words, he birdied seven of the last eight holes he played Sunday.
With that, he claimed his third European Tour title of the year -- and 250,000 Euros. He may also have won a place on this year's Ryder Cup team
Thomas Bjorn, the captain of the European team, is expected to announce his Wild Card Picks this week.
Lee Westwood, who has played for Europe in the Ryder Cup 10 times but won't make the team this year, led for much of the Sunday's final round. But after getting to 20 under par for the tournament early in the back nine, he made a bogey that dropped him back to minus 19. He parred out from there for a 69 and a 72-hole total of 269, joining Wallace at that number, along with two more of his fellow Englishmen, Jonathan Thomson and Steven Brown.
The 18th hole at Silkeborg Ry is a 408-yard par-4. Having just birdied it to get into the playoff, Wallace birdied it again with an 8-foot putt when it was used as the first extra hole. Brown matched the birdie. Westwood and Thomson both made pars, and were eliminated.
Wallace and Brown returned to the 18th tee for Playoff Hole No. 2. This time, Wallace hit his approach shot even closer than he had on the first extra hole. Brown missed his birdie putt, and Wallace made his to secure the championship.
Brown, Westwood and Thomson each received 111, 853 Euros as their compensation for finishing joint second.
Just missing out on the playoff was Erik Van Rooyen, the former University of Minnsota star. The 28-year-old South African birdied the 14th, 15th and 16th holes on his way to a 65. But he couldn't add another birdie on either of the last two holes, and he finished at 270, one stroke too many.
Van Rooyen, who is currently No. 4 on the European Tour in Greens in Regulation (he's hit 74.9 percent of them), made 63,600 Euros. That moved him up from No. 37 on the money list to No. 35 in his first year as a fully exempt European Tour player. He earned that status by finishing third on the European Challenge Tour money list in 2017.
Made in Denmark
At Silkeborg Ry GC
Final results (winnings are shown in Euros, which were worth $1.16 as of Sunday night)
1. Matt Wallace, England 250,000 Euros 68-68-66-67--269 (won playoff with birdies on the first and second extra holes)
T2. Steven Brown, England 111,853 Euros 70-68-63-68--269 (birdied the first playoff hole, parred the second)
T2. Lee Westwood, England 111,853 Euros 68-65-67-69--269 (was eliminated with par on first extra hole)
T2. Jonathan Thomson, England 111,853 Euros 64-69-68-68--269 (was eliminated with par on first extra hole)
5. Erik Van Rooyen, South Africa 63,600 Euros 67-70-68-65--270