Denmark's Soren Kjeldsen overcame the tough conditions this week at the Irish Open, to take his 4th European tour win and first since 2009. Kjeldsen was in great form all week and hovered around the top of the leaderboard, but a tough final day meant he found himself in a three way playoff with Eddie Pepperell and Bernd Weisberger. Peperell carded and impressive final round of 2-under-par to hold the early clubhouse lead, and book himself a place at The Open in July. Kjeldsen did struggle on Sunday and may have been a little worried coming down the 18th, but a closing par meant he earned the final playoff spot.
The three potential champions headed to the difficult 18th at Royal County Down, which had proven to be a tough hole all week. Kjeldsen made a great birdie at the first playoff hole, having failed to make better than a par all week to take the title, and also earn a place at the Open Championship.
Kjeldsen had started the day 7 shots ahead of Pepperell, but his impressive final round of 69, meant he forced the playoff along with Austria's Bernd Weisberger. Rafa Cabrera-Bello had started the final day in second place, but a closing round of four-over-par meant the Spaniard missed out on the playoff, and also fell one shot short of securing a place at this years Open Championship. Instead the final spot was awarded to England's Tyrrell Hatton, as he is ahead of Cabrera-Bello in the world rankings. Danny Willet also posted a strong final round of 68, to move up the leaderboard on Sunday, but he had left a himself a little too much to do come Sunday. His strong form in 2015 has continued, and he is now ranked 38 in the official world golf rankings.
There were some high scores this week in the tough, cold conditions, with some big names failing to make the cut or their mark on the event. Record crowds at Royal County Down bode well for the potential hosting of the Open Championship, but the tough conditions will certainly be a talking point. Host Rory McIlroy was on hand to present Kjeldsen with the trophy, which was a great touch as he has done extremely well in making the event a success in his homeland. Having struggled on the opening day, Rory did not feature at the weekend, but his hectic schedule may have effected him, and a rest could see him back to his full potential soon.
Congratulations to Soren Kjeldsen on a great win and one that he certainly did not expect, he was quoted as saying