Huldahl shocks European Tour

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Little-known Jeppe Huldahl has pulled off the European Tour’s third shock win in just four weeks.

Little-known Jeppe Huldahl pulled off the European Tour’s third shock win in just four weeks when he unexpectedly triumphed at the Celtic Manor Wales Open on Sunday.
Following the recent out-of-the-blue victories of Irish amateur Shane Lowry and world number 449 Christian Cevaer, the 26-year-old Dane, ranked 377th in the World, beat Swede Niclas Fasth, who has Ryder Cup experience, by one to secure his first top 10 finish on the circuit in 45 attempts going back six years.
“It feels amazing,” he said. “I couldn’t feel my hands the last three holes. I knew I was doing well, but I didn’t know how well until I asked my caddie on the 18th tee.
“He told me I needed a par – and it’s nice to have a par five and have a chance to lay up. But I couldn’t put winning out of my head and it was quite emotional.”
The £300,000 first prize was almost 30 times Huldahl’s previous biggest cheque, but he won in real style on the course which in October next year will stage America’s defence of the Ryder Cup.
Joint leader with England’s Nick Dougherty and Spaniard Ignacio Garrido with a round to play, the 2008 Challenge Tour graduate did not drop a stroke in shooting a four under par 67.
Fasth joined him out in front by pitching in for eagle on the long 11th, but Huldahl instantly birdied his next two holes.
Fasth came back at him with birdies on the 13th and 15th, but the former world top 20 player then bogeyed the next two holes and despite piling on the pressure again with a closing 20-foot putt, Huldahl parred the last seven holes to triumph.
He finished at nine under par for the tournament, with Fasth eight under after a 66 and Garrido third a further shot back.
Dougherty, though, tumbled all the way down to 37th with a nightmare 79.
Halfway leader Richie Ramsay, meanwhile, finished tied 10th, but it was a weekend the Scot will not forget in a hurry.
After two-hour talks with officials late on Saturday night he escaped a two-stroke penalty over an incident on the eighth when he pressed down ground behind his ball in testing for casual water, but this morning had his par five on the last turned into a six because of the way he took relief on the fairway there.
“I didn’t sleep because I was concerned about what people might think and my head was in a bit of a spin,” said the Tour rookie, who during his US Amateur victory three years ago lost two holes over rules matters.
“A lot of things go through your head, but all I can do is tell the truth.
“That’s what golf is about – honesty and etiquette. Being up most of the night it wasn’t the easiest thing to come out and play. I just need to sit down now, have a rest and clear my head.”
Tour chief referee John Paramor, shaking his head in disbelief when the second incident happened, said of the first: “He now knows that’s not the way to go about it.
“If he’s absolutely positive he did not improve his area of swing then I can’t impose a penalty on him based on what I’ve seen. I must have looked at it about 20 times on television, but we had only one camera angle.”
Focal points at the start of the week were Ryder Cup captains Colin Montgomerie and Corey Pavin, but they finished 38th and 43rd respectively on three and four over.
ALL THE FINAL ROUND SCORES
(Gbr & Irl unless stated, par 71):

275 Jeppe Huldahl (Den) 69 71 68 67
276 Niclas Fasth (Swe) 71 68 71 66
277 Ignacio Garrido (Spa) 68 69 71 69
278 Gary Lockerbie 69 70 74 65, Danny Willett 73 66 72 67
279 Jeev Milkha Singh (Ind) 69 68 73 69, Richard Green (Aus) 68 71 71 69, Simon Dyson 74 65 70 70, Oliver Fisher 72 69 71 67
280 Chris Wood 72 69 70 69, Richie Ramsay 68 67 76 69, Paul Waring 71 68 70 71, Fabrizio Zanotti (Par) 67 71 72 70, Gregory Bourdy (Fra) 70 70 70 70
281 Klas Eriksson (Swe) 70 72 69 70, Paul McGinley 68 71 71 71
282 Alan McLean 66 73 76 67, Miguel Angel Jimenez (Spa) 70 70 72 70, Rhys Davies 73 69 71 69, Fredrik Andersson Hed (Swe) 70 67 75 70
283 Mark Foster 69 69 72 73, David Lynn 69 73 72 69, Simon Khan 69 73 71 70
284 Santiago Luna (Spa) 73 69 71 71, Peter Lawrie 69 72 74 69
285 Robert Rock 68 68 74 75, Lee Slattery 68 73 74 70, Bernd Wiesberger (Aut) 72 70 74 69, Thongchai Jaidee (Tha) 74 70 74 67, Pablo Larrazabal (Spa) 67 73 71 74
286 Callum Macaulay 68 71 76 71, Gary Orr 68 73 72 73, Magnus A Carlsson (Swe) 70 69 72 75, Ross Fisher 70 66 75 75, Jose Manuel Lara (Spa) 69 72 75 70, Marc Cayeux (Zim) 70 69 77 70
287 Jean-Baptiste Gonnet (Fra) 69 68 76 74, Colin Montgomerie 69 69 78 71, Branden Grace (Rsa) 70 72 74 71, Nick Dougherty 66 72 70 79, Wade Ormsby (Aus) 69 72 74 72, Christopher Doak 72 69 74 72
288 Richard Finch 71 68 73 76, Thomas Bjorn (Den) 66 73 74 75, Marcel Siem (Ger) 74 68 77 69, Corey Pavin (USA) 72 72 71 73, Scott Drummond 74 70 74 70, Marcus Fraser (Aus) 69 70 73 76
289 Marcus Higley 72 72 73 72, Stephen Dodd 72 67 76 74, John Bickerton 69 70 75 75, Jyoti Randhawa (Ind) 72 72 74 71
290 Christian Nilsson (Swe) 71 71 77 71, Iain Pyman 72 72 72 74, Benn Barham 69 72 78 71, Maarten Lafeber (Ned) 68 76 76 70, Chapchai Nirat (Tha) 73 69 75 73, Bradley Dredge 74 70 71 75
291 Eirik Tage Johansen (Nor) 75 69 74 73, Shiv Kapur (Ind) 73 67 74 77, Taco Remkes (Ned) 67 75 78 71, Sion Bebb 75 69 74 73, Robert Dinwiddie 71 71 75 74, Scott Strange (Aus) 72 72 77 70, Jean-Francois Lucquin (Fra) 70 72 74 75, Peter Hedblom (Swe) 72 67 76 76
292 Andrew Oldcorn 76 68 73 75
293 Joakim Haeggman (Swe) 72 72 75 74, Jonathan Caldwell 72 72 74 75
294 Michael Curtain (Aus) 71 72 74 77, David Frost (Rsa) 66 76 75 77
297 Alfredo Garcia-Heredia (Spa) 72 71 84 70
299 Tim Dykes 68 75 78 78, Mark Brown (Nzl) 70 73 81 75
300 Birgir Hafthorsson (Ice) 69 73 79 79

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