Vincent Norrman gave Sweden a second straight winner on the European tour when he shot 7-under 65 to capture the Irish Open title on Sunday as Rory McIlroy faltered in the final round by hitting into the water on three different holes.
A week after 23-year-old Ludvig Aberg produced a stunning finish to win the European Masters in Switzerland and help secure a spot on Europe’s Ryder Cup team, the 25-year-old Norrman did the same at The K Club to earn his second victory in two months — after the Barbasol Championship in mid-July — and underscore the talent emerging from Sweden.
Play was delayed for about 90 minutes because of bad weather soon after the leading groups teed off, with McIlroy at that stage in a four-way share of the lead on 12-under par.
His bid for a second title at his home event, after 2016, tottered when he found water off wedge shots from the middle of the fairway at Nos. 7 and 11. By the time McIlroy went into the water twice at No. 16 in shooting triple-bogey 8, Norrman had already posted a target — 14 under — that none of his remaining title contenders such as Hurly Long of Germany (72) and Ryan Fox of New Zealand (70) could match.
Norrman won by one stroke from Long to give himself two titles in just 14 appearances on the European tour. He is set to more than halve his world ranking and potentially climb to No. 76.
Shane Lowry (68) finished in a tie for third with Fox, Grant Forrest (70) and Thriston Lawrence (66) in a confidence-boosting performance ahead of the Ryder Cup, for which he also got a captain’s pick despite poor recent form, and his defense of the BMW PGA Championship next week.
McIlroy closed with a 74 and was tied for 16th.
Source : ESPN