Denmark’s Soren Kjeldsen endured a difficult day before ultimately claiming victory
Denmark’s Soren Kjeldsen saw off the challenge of England’s Eddie Pepperell and Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger at the first play-off hole to become Irish Open champion at Royal County Down.
The trio had finished on two under par after the 72 regulation holes in tough conditions.
Kjeldsen took a two-shot lead into the final round and was one shot ahead with two to play despite being four over par for the day as the players battled winds gusting up to 40mph.
A three-putt bogey on the 17th left Kjeldsen needing to birdie the 18th to win his fourth European Tour title, but after chipping from one side of the green to the other, he did well to get up and down for a closing 76 to join the play-off.
Pepperell had set the clubhouse target on two under after a remarkable bogey-free 69, with Wiesberger missing from eight feet for birdie on the 18th in his closing 73.
Spain's Rafael Cabrera-Bello missed out on the play-off after a bogey on the 18th, with England's Tyrrell Hatton also one under after a par on the last in a closing 74.
The players returned to the par-five 18th for the first hole of sudden death and Kjeldsen was the only one able to find the green in two before two-putting for a winning birdie.