With only three weeks until the Ryder Cup begins in Medinha, Illinois, European captain Jose Maria Olazabal will be feeling even more confident after one of the lesser-lauded members of his team registered a European Tour win on Sunday.
Peter Hanson won his fifth European Tour title in dramatic fashion, nailing a 35-foot putt for eagle on the 18th to overhaul overnight co-leader Pablo Larrazabal and finish on 14 under.
After driving into the trees on the 16th, the Swede had seemingly given away his chance to claim the win, but managed to recover for a par while Larrazabal bogeyed on the same hole.
Hanson qualified as ninth-placed European on the World money list to ensure a ticket to the 39th Ryder Cup, which will be his second appearance after his rookie year in 2010.
He’ll be hoping to improve on his performance last time, when a win in the foursomes alongside Miguel Angel Jimenez in session three was sandwiched between a loss with the same partner in session two and a singles defeat to Phil Mickelson on the final day.
Now clearly in good form, the Swede remains 20/1 outsider to finish as top European points scorer. Olazabal will have been keeping an eye on a couple of his other charges in Holland, as Belgian rookie pick Nicolas Colsaerts (16/1 to finish top European points scorer) finished eight under and Martin Kaymer (20/1) five under – a timely positive following the German’s recent struggle for form.
Rory McIlroy remains favourite to finish as Europe’s top man at 5/1, with Luke Donald 6/1 second favourite, though the hosts remain favourites to reclaim the trophy in their own backyard just as they did in 2008, at 8/11. Europe are 11/8 to win, though the tie at 10/1 is all they’ll need to retain the trophy.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.