Players full of praise for Wilson

European Tour

Oliver Wilson’s Dunhill Links Championship victory was a popular one – even with the man he pushed into second place – Rory McIlroy.

Wilson finally secured his first European Tour victory after 227 starts at St Andrews on Sunday, clsoing with a final-round 70 to finish one stroke clear of McIlroy, Richie Ramsay and Tommy Fleetwood.

It was a superb achievement from a man who had been forced to play on the Challenge Tour of late after seeing his world ranking plummet following a poor run of form.

Now Wilson has earned £500,000 for his victory and a two-year exemption on the European Tour, moving from 252nd to 39th on the Race to Dubai.

Wilson is so well-liked on Tour that even McIlroy was happy to give him his due, despite falling just short of what would have been a victory of his own.

“Don’t think I could’ve chosen a better person to finish 2nd to this week! Congrats @Oliver_Wilson so well deserved!” tweeted McIlroy on Sunday.

And the World No 1 wasn’t the only one to celebrate the victory on Twitter.

Ian Poulter wrote: I can’t tell you how happy every player on Tour will be for Oliver Wilson winning the Dunhill Links. It’s been a long road back. Congrats”

Lee Westwood said: “well done lad! Great win!”

Fellow Ryder Cup hero Jamie Donaldson added: “Well done to @Oliver_wilson for an awesome return to where he belongs, after a great win in Scotland!!”

And Luke Donald also wrote a message of congratulations: Just saw that @Oliver_Wilson won the Dunhill. Keep believing, keep working and good things will happen. Congrats Oli, really happy for you.”

Wilson, who was moved to tears on Sunday, said: “I don’t have words for it. It’s been 10, 11 years coming, nine runners-up and I hadn’t done a whole lot (wrong) to lose those but nothing has really gone my way.

“I know so many people had written me off and that hurt, but I just kept believing and a lot of people around me helped.

“I slept awful (Saturday night), I thought about a lot of things that this could do for me but to be honest I probably didn’t genuinely believe, then I got on 17 when I holed that putt and started thinking what were the possibilities.”

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