May 13th, 2019
British Masters Final
Wallace falters to let Swede in
Words: GolfPunk Photography: Getty Images
As Matt Wallace thumped the green with his putter as another birdie putt slipped by the hole at the 18th he knew he had blown a chance to lift the British Masters crown. Step forward Marcus Kinhult, the world’s number 210th ranked player, to coolly hole his ten-foot birdie putt and complete Wallace’s nightmare.
Wallace had led by one going down the 17th and looked odds on favourite to lift the title when he hit a miracle second shot out of thick rough to the edge of the green. However, his putter would let him down once again on the final round as he missed from four feet for his birdie.
Kinhult had already made his birdie and the pair stood on the 18th tee level on 15 under, a mark they shared with the defending champion Eddie Pepperell and the young Scott, Robert MacIntyre.
Kinhult had led by one with four holes to go and it looked like he had spurned his chance of the title when he took bogie at both the 15th and 16th. However, he held his nerve and birdied the last two holes for a closing 70, the Betfred British Masters title and the biggest pay day of his life. “I’ve been dreaming about this for such a long time,” Kinhult said after collecting trophy and cheque for £500,000.
Wallace’s performance on the final green will have had a few of the old guard, watching on television, spluttering over their tea. The Englishman must now put his frustration behind him as he flies out the USPGA Championship at Bethpage. He will be joined there by Eddie Pepperrell who had a fine closing 66 which almost saw him sneak into a play-off.
One of the happiest players of the day was Robert MacIntyre who was playing alongside the tournament host, Tommy Fleetwood. The young left hander from Scotland, who joined the European Tour this year finished eagle, birdie to move up to a tie for second on 15 under and a £240,000 pay day.
Fleetwood, who had been suffering with a throat infection all week, faded to finish tied eighth with a final round one over par 73. “This was a very, very special week for me and my family,” he said after bringing his duties as host to a close.
Fleetwood can satisfy himself with a good job done. There had been sell-out crowds over the weekend at Hillside and the course proved a worthy venue for the event.
And Another Thing....