Jun 14th, 2021
Caldwell storms to Scandinavian Mixed title
Northern Irishman claims his maiden European Tour victory
Photography: Getty Images
It was a fitting finish to the co-sanctioned European Tour and Ladies European Tour event as Englishwoman Hewson had an opportunity coming down the stretch to force a play-off with her male counterpart Caldwell.
The 37-year-old Caldwell had set the clubhouse target at seventeen-under after equalling the best round of the week with an eight-under 64 - also the best round of the final day - which was rounded off in style thanks to a remarkable second shot from the rough for a tap-in closing birdie.
"My immediate feelings are probably a bit of disbelief if I’m, to be honest, it’s been a dream of mine for quite a long time obviously,"said Caldwell.
"A lot of hard work goes into it so it hasn’t quite sunk in yet but hopefully more to come."
Spain’s Adrian Oteagui had an opportunity to clinch the title at the death after giving himself a birdie opportunity at the 72nd hole for an eighteen-under total, but his three-putt meant Hewson was the last person standing with a chance to force extra holes.
The 23-year-old had to hole out with her approach at the 18th to do so but a par four for a three-under 69 meant she still claimed the honour of the highest-placed Ladies European Tour player, in an outright third one stroke behind runner-up Otaegui.
"It was really exciting. I got off to a bit of a shaky start, was definitely nervous on those first few holes but managed to get some momentum on the back nine," said Hewson.
"I’m just really excited with my performance this week especially after a tough start to the season."
For Caldwell, who partnered with Rory McIlroy while representing Great Britain and Ireland at the 2007 Walker Cup as an amateur, it is a life-changing victory having struggled to make his mark on the professional game for thirteen years and even working part-time in a golf store to fund his European Tour dreams.
He became just the eighth Northern Irishman to win on the European Tour, rising to 43rd in the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex in the process.