Golf-Karlsson and Hansen put Scandinavia in frame at PGA


Mon, 15 Aug 03:37:00 2011

No Scandinavian golfer has ever won a major championship but Dane Anders Hansen and Swede Robert Karlsson produced a real Nordic challenge at the PGA Championship on Sunday.

Hansen finished third after carding an impressive four-under-par 66 in his final round which left him just a shot back from the winner Keegan Bradley who beat fellow-American Jason Dufner in a playoff.

Karlsson, the 41-year-old former European number one, finished tied for fourth, three shots off the leading pair.

It could have been so much better for Karlsson, who had three top 10 finishes in majors in 2008, had he avoided bogeying the last three holes at the Atlanta Athletic Club.

Karlsson had eagled the 12th to move within a shot of the lead and the man who switched to the PGA Tour this season looked in with a chance of crowning that change with glory.

It wasn't to be and the Swede had to settle for the record of having claimed top 10 finishes in all four majors but he felt this one had brought him the closest to his ultimate goal.

"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.

Hansen was delighted with his best finish in a major.

"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.

"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," he said.

Hansen gave himself a slight chance of a birdie, which would have sent him into a three-way play-off.

"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."

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