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Sweden win World Cup of Golf

November 30, 2008 16:44 IST

Sweden's Robert Karlsson and Henrik Stenson won the 54th World Cup of Golf by three shots on Sunday after a masterful nine-under-par 63 in the final round foursomes.

The Swedes, the highest-ranked players in the 28-team field, sparkled with nine birdies in a blemish-free round to overhaul joint overnight leaders Spain and finish an impressive 27-under for the US $5.5 million tournament.

"It's fantastic to win for Sweden, it's been a while," said European number one Karlsson after matching Per-Ulrik Johansson and Anders Forsbrand's feat in Rome in 1991.

It was a third title of the year for Karlsson but a first for world number 12 Stenson, who was delighted to finally finish top of the leaderboard.

"We played fantastic today to go out and shoot that score," said the 32-year-old, who shares $1.7 million with his team mate.

"Germany were hot on Thursday, Spain on Friday and Australia yesterday so I was thinking that it was our turn today."

Spaniards Miguel Angel Jimenez and Pablo Larrazabal, who shot a stunning 63 of their own in Friday's foursomes, were second after a final round 70 at Mission Hills Golf Club.

"We didn't play like the first and second rounds but still a good performance and a great tournament for us," said Larrazabal, the European Rookie of the Year.

"But I wanted so bad to go home with the trophy and I'm a little bit sad now."


For three days, the Swedes had played solid golf but they burst into life when it really mattered with a round which lacked the bravura of Spain's on Friday but was every bit as impressive.

Opening with a birdie as dragonflies buzzed around them at the first, they then picked up shots every other hole until the 11th, when they snatched the lead from the struggling Spaniards.

Another birdie at the 12th broke the alternate hole pattern but extended their lead and a couple more back-to-back at the 14th and 15th put them four clear.

Spain rallied with their second and third birdies at the 15th and 17th but, with the Swedes in the clubhouse, Larrazabal's drive at the 18th found a bunker and their hopes of an eagle to force a playoff lay buried in the sand.

A disappointing 76 for Australia's Richard Green and Brendan Jones dropped them to a share of third alongside Japan's Ryuji Imada and Toru Taniguchi on 18-under.

"Just didn't happen for us today," said Green, who with Jones had started the day as joint leaders.

"We went out there with all of the right intentions and tried our best but things didn't happen."

Germany fired a fourth round 73 for fifth on 16-under, a shot better than England, whose 67 was good enough for sixth. Defending champions Scotland finished tied for 19th.

Sweden's win was a fifth in a row for Europe and left 23-times champions the United States without a victory in the tournament since Tiger Woods and David Duval defended the title in 2000.

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