Nordic golfers shine at USPGA

Robert Karlsson and Anders Hansen provided Scandinavian golf with its best ever showing in a major this past week.

Swede Robert Karlsson and Dane Anders Hansen provided Scandinavian golf with probably its best ever showing in a major this past week.

Hansen shot a final-round four-under-par 66 to finish in third place at the USPGA Championship, one agonising shot off the score that sent eventual winner Keegan Bradley and fellow American Jason Dufner into a play-off, while Karlsson finished joint-fourth, three shots off the pace.

The duo came as close as any Scandinavian golfer has ever come to winning one of golf’s four biggest prizes, but ultimately fell just short.

At one stage Karlsson was seriously threatening, having eagled the 12th to move only one shot off the pace.

In the end, the Swede notched up a top-10 finish to give himself the record of having finished in the top-10 of all four majors in his career.

Karlsson, a former European No 1 who switched to the PGA Tour this year, felt that this time around was his best opportunity yet.

“After today, it’s probably the first time I can say to myself, ‘I am good enough to win one of these’. Obviously it helps to know I’ve played against them many, many times and that I have beaten them on several occasions,” he said according to Reuters.

Despite coming so close, Hansen still took many positives away from his performance at Atlanta Athletic Club.

“I’m very proud of myself. Obviously you play a major, it’s tough, the course is set up tough. I thought my ball striking has been good all week,” he said.

“I played really, really solid from tee to green and the putting has been pretty solid. It has not been magnificent but it’s been pretty solid so all in all, it’s good for my confidence. It’s good for the future.”

Coming off a birdie on 17, Hansen had an outside chance at birdie at the 18th to join the play-off, but it didn’t drop.

“I managed to birdie 17, and you know, on 18, we put it out there behind the pin, and I don’t know how long the putt was, but I told my caddie: ‘This is it, this is what we have been working for, and now we have a chance’.

“I told him to give me a good line and I hit it on the line, but it was a mis-read, but still it’s a tough hole is 18, you don’t really expect to birdie that one.”