Bjorn beats Lee in playoff for European Masters

Associated Press  |  Last updated September 08, 2013
Thomas Bjorn made a 12-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole to beat Craig Lee for the European Masters title on Sunday. Bjorn added to his title from 2011 after watching Lee's attempt from 15 feet slide left of the hole on the par-4 18th. Earlier, both players missed 20-foot putts for the win in regulation on the foggy, rain-swept final green following a 30-minute suspension for fog to clear. Bjorn, who waited out the delay standing on the 18th tee, missed left and completed his round of 6-under 65. The Dane then watched on TV in the scorer's hut as the 36-year-old Lee of Scotland sought to clinch his first career title. Lee, who led by two shots after his 61 on Saturday, had his putt catch the right lip of the hole and carded a 67. Both finished regulation at 20-under 264. Victor Dubuisson of France was third, one shot back after shooting 66. Bjorn's 14th career European Tour title was his first since winning here in 2011, when he closed with 62 to also finish 20 under. The 42-year-old Dane earned $483,000. Lee's career-high check for $322,000 looks certain to secure his European Tour status for next year. Just like two years ago, Bjorn made a Sunday charge for the title in the thin mountain air of the Swiss Alps. Bjorn fired five birdies in the first eight holes, and added another at the par-5 15th in his bogey-free round. Indeed, his entire tournament was a model of consistency with just two dropped shots and no eagles in four rounds. Bjorn birdied the first and fourth holes Sunday, and moved into a three-way share of the lead with another at the par-4 fifth. He joined Lee and Alejandro Canizares of Spain, who eagled the easy par-5 first and birdied the next two holes. Reaching the turn in 31, Bjorn led by two but missed midrange birdie chances at holes 11 and 12, as Lee birdied the par-4 12th. Bjorn found trouble at the par-5 14th, hitting his tee shot onto the 13th tee box. He got a free drop and sank a 6-foot putt for par. Lee drew level at 19 under with a 25-footer for birdie at the 14th, then both contenders got birdies at the 15th.
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