Oliver Wilson beats Rory McIlroy by one stroke to win first European golf title
World number 792 Oliver Wilson held on to win his first European golf title at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, beating world number one Rory McIlroy by one stroke on 17 under par.
London: World number 792 Oliver Wilson held on to win his first European golf title at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, beating world number one Rory McIlroy by one stroke on 17 under par.
The Englishman, making his 228th start, finished ahead of a chasing pack to win by one stroke on 17 under par. He played in the 2008 Ryder Cup but lost his European Tour card in 2012 and needed an invite to play at St Andrews.
Wilson, who bags almost 5,00,000 pounds, said that so many people had written him off and that hurt, but added that he kept believing, The BBC reported.
Wilson said that a lot of people had a part in this and he can't thank them enough. He added that this is pretty special.
The Englishman said that he could be drunk for a while, adding that it's been a long time coming and he has a lot of champagne on hold. He said that it's going to be a good party.
His compatriot and playing partner Tommy Fleetwood had a chance to send the tournament into a play-off but missed a 10ft putt for birdie on 18 to hand the emotional Wilson victory and a two-year European Tour exemption.
Northern Ireland's McIlroy and Scotland's Richie Ramsay finished on 16 under par alongside Fleetwood.
Wilson, who was ranked 104th on the second-tier Challenge Tour before his win with earnings this season of around 10,000 pounds, dropped just one shot in his final round of 70.
Wilson added that he does not have the words for it. He said that it has been 10-11 years coming, and nine runner-up finishes where nothing really went his way, adding that to have the invite to play here, he cannot thank people enough.
Meanwhile, McIlroy got off to the worst possible start when he double bogeyed the opening hole after seeing his ball spin back into the Swilcan Burn, but bounced back with four straight birdies.
Chasing his fifth win of the season, McIlroy was tied for the lead down the back nine but bogeyed the difficult 17th when he rolled his putt from off the green into the Road Hole bunker.
Playing the event alongside his father Gerry, who was celebrating his 55th birthday, McIlroy birdied the 18th to get within one but just came up short.
The Northern Irishman said that he probably lost it on those two holes, the first and the 17th but added that it was fantastic to play with his dad and for him to play St Andrews on his birthday was very special.