Dyson upstages the stars

Home

Simon Dyson shot a superb closing 66 to claim victory in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews.

Simon Dyson finally leapt into the big time on the European Tour and what’s more, did it with the round of his life.
After two wins in Holland and one in Indonesia since he turned professional a decade ago, the 31-year-old’s superb closing 66 swept him to victory in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews.
Full of jealousy when his great friend Nick Dougherty took the same title two years ago, Dyson collected the £485,850 first prize by three strokes from Rory McIlroy and Oliver Wilson.
It takes the York golfer, who magically birdied six of the first seven holes, top of Europe’s Ryder Cup points table, into the top 10 on this season’s money list and into the world’s top 50 for the first time. He began the week 92nd.
In August his second Dutch win came with a course-record closing 63 but, after taking charge with his blistering start and then carefully avoiding disaster, Dyson revised his opinion about the best round of his career.
“There’s no way this can’t be it,” he said. “This is like our fifth major, a massive tournament at the home of golf, and I’ve shot 66 to win it.
“I’m absolutely buzzing. Darren Clarke has just said to me, ‘Take your time and enjoy it – it does not get any better than winning at St Andrews’.
“My parents always come up (to the tournament) but couldn’t make it this year. They’re never coming back!”
For Wilson, it was an eighth runners-up finish on the circuit with not one victory to his name as yet but he could not feel disappointed about this one as he shot 65 after starting the day 14th.
McIlroy, only one behind Luke Donald overnight, had dearly wanted to win playing alongside his father on his 50th birthday in the celebrity pro-am but he managed “only” a 69.
That was still good enough to take the 20-year-old above injured pair Martin Kaymer and Paul Casey into top spot on the ‘Race to Dubai’ standings but he knew the day belonged to Dyson.
The former Walker Cup player – he was a team-mate of Casey and Donald at Nairn in 1999 – admits he is a lot more dedicated to his golf than once was the case – not that he regrets enjoying himself on Tour as much as he did in his younger days.
“I might have done better but I don’t regret one thing that I’ve done,” Dyson continued. “You’re travelling the world and you’ve got to enjoy yourself.
“I’ve still got a lot of time left in my career hopefully – touch wood. I’ve settled down a lot, I’m the happiest away from the course that I’ve ever been, and what more do you want?”
Dyson knew it could be a special day from his second shot – a pitch to three feet that brought him level with Donald, who with a 73 fell all the way back to seven and still has not won for three-and-a-half years.
By the eighth tee, Dyson was already four clear – and although McIlroy did cut it back to two by turning in 32 to the winner’s 30 that was as close as it got.
Dyson added another birdie on the 12th and could afford to bogey the Road Hole 17th.
McIlroy ruined his chances of winning by bogeying the 12th, 16th and 17th. But his birdie on the last was huge for the money list battle.
Wilson was cursing not finishing one ahead of him, though, after missing a three-foot birdie putt on the last when he was distracted by someone assembling the presentation area behind the green.
“I heard him shaking a can before I went to hit it, but then on my backstroke he shook it as loud as he could,” he said.
“I’m not very happy at the moment. I’d not missed one that short all week, but I guess it’s another lesson.
“I played with Simon last week (at the Vivendi Trophy) and this week (for three rounds), and he has not really missed a shot.
“He’s a great lad, upbeat all the time, and has the perfect attitude for golf.
“He’s also great in the team room, and I’d love to partner him in the Ryder Cup. I think he’ll be great there.”
There is a long way to go before that happens – for both of them – but Dyson has taken a mighty leap towards a debut against the Americans.
Scotland’s Richie Ramsay, meanwhile, would have finished joint second but for three-putting from the Valley of Sin on the last. Joint fourth, however, secured his Tour card for next season – and he would certainly have taken 10 days ago, having not been in the event until Casey pulled out.
It spilled into an extra day because of Saturday’s high winds.
ALL THE FINAL ROUND SCORES
(Gbr & Irl unless stated, par 72):

268 Simon Dyson 68 66 68 66
271 Rory McIlroy 68 65 69 69, Oliver Wilson 69 67 70 65
272 Richie Ramsay 67 66 70 69, Rafael Cabrera Bello (Spa) 70 68 65 69
273 Ross McGowan 66 68 71 68
274 Luke Donald 72 65 64 73, Darren Clarke 68 68 67 71
275 Gary Lockerbie 69 71 67 68, Ricardo Gonzalez (Arg) 70 71 68 66, Francois Delamontagne (Fra) 71 67 67 70, Gregory Bourdy (Fra) 73 67 67 68, Kenneth Ferrie 69 66 69 71, Paul McGinley 69 67 69 70, Lee Westwood 73 67 66 69
276 Peter Hanson (Swe) 72 64 75 65, Jose Manuel Lara (Spa) 67 68 69 72, Raphael Jacquelin (Fra) 67 71 68 70
277 Brett Rumford (Aus) 68 71 70 68, Marc Warren 70 69 71 67, David Dixon 68 67 73 69, Simon Khan 74 70 67 66, Graeme Storm 69 69 72 67, Michael Hoey 67 66 70 74, Paul Broadhurst 70 67 72 68
278 Richard Bland 72 67 71 68, Carlos Del Moral (Spa) 69 69 71 69, Mikko Ilonen (Fin) 70 64 70 74, Graeme McDowell 69 70 68 71, Steven O’Hara 71 66 74 67, Johan Edfors (Swe) 70 68 70 70, Ernie Els (Rsa) 72 72 66 68, James Kamte (Rsa) 69 69 70 70, Sam Little 68 71 67 72, Padraig Harrington 70 70 72 66
279 Joakim Haeggman (Swe) 73 69 68 69, Francesco Molinari (Ita) 71 68 69 71, Damien McGrane 71 71 68 69, Dale Whitnell 69 69 73 68, Miguel Angel Jimenez (Spa) 74 67 68 70, Ignacio Garrido (Spa) 68 71 71 69
280 Callum Macaulay 72 73 67 68, Alessandro Tadini (Ita) 69 70 73 68, Soren Hansen (Den) 71 69 71 69, Thomas Bjorn (Den) 64 74 72 70, Marcel Siem (Ger) 70 71 70 69, Danny Willett 71 67 70 72, Mark Foster 71 70 68 71, Thongchai Jaidee (Tha) 70 69 73 68, Bradley Dredge 72 69 69 70
281 Gareth Maybin 66 73 71 71, Wade Ormsby (Aus) 70 66 73 72
282 Hennie Otto (Rsa) 70 70 72 70, Graham Delaet (Can) 70 68 74 70, Marc Cayeux (Zim) 70 70 71 71, Daniel Vancsik (Arg) 70 71 70 71, Brad Faxon (USA) 74 67 71 70, Trevor Immelman (Rsa) 71 67 72 72, Keith Horne (Rsa) 70 70 70 72, Richard Green (Aus) 72 69 69 72, Alastair Forsyth 70 64 77 71
283 Soren Kjeldsen (Den) 70 71 70 72, Gary Murphy 71 72 69 71, Michael Jonzon (Swe) 72 73 67 71, Alvaro Quiros (Spa) 72 68 70 73
284 Brett Quigley (USA) 72 71 69 72, Wallace Booth 72 65 75 72, David Lynn 73 66 73 72
285 Chih-bing Lam (Sin) 69 69 74 73
287 Lee Slattery 68 71 72 76

Latest