Date: November 03, 2008

Green scorches home

Richard Green fired a final-round four-under 67 to finish in outright seventh place behind Denmark&aposs Soren Kjeldsen at the Volvo Masters at Valderrama. Starting the day tied for 15th, Green hit five birdies and single bogey as he leapfrogged a number of players up the leaderboard and finish at two-under. Kjeldsen, who was never headed from the moment he started the rain-hit event with a sparkling 65, won the first prize of more than 560,000 pounds by two strokes from Englishman Anthony Wall and German Martin Kaymer. But all the talk was about Robert Karlsson, who became the first Swede to win the European Order of Merit, leaving Lee Westwood to reflect on a season of near-misses. Westwood is back in the world&aposs top 10 for the first time in five and a half years, but once again there was disappointment for him on the final day of a tournament. Lying second with a round to go, and needing to win to deny Karlsson the No.1 spot, he did not even come close in the end. Westwood&aposs joint fourth place with Sergio Garcia, four shots back, and Padraig Harrington&aposs 13th place meant that Karlsson was certain to top the money list whatever he did. The 39-year-old would like to have finished his campaign in the style of Justin Rose last year – Rose won the final counting event – but instead was down in 32nd spot. “It would have been fantastic to cap it off with a good week, but I&aposm not going to be ashamed about this week,” said Karlsson. “In the last three and a half years I have taken myself to a new level and this is fantastic.” “But this has been the hardest week I&aposve ever experienced in golf. It&aposs one of those situations where you have it in your own hands, but not really, and your focus wanders quite a bit.” There will be no mad celebrations, however. Next season starts this week in Shanghai, and he was off immediately via Paris and looking forward to catching up on some sleep. Westwood, who most notably this season was one shot away from a play-off in the US Open, said: “It&aposs been a year of nearlys and it was nearly again.” “I didn&apost feel I was hitting it great all week. I wasn&apost straight enough, but I&aposve played well all year and I&aposm pleased about being back in the top 10.” Karlsson has won the money list 19 years after turning professional. He looked a star in the making when he was runner-up to Nick Faldo in the European Open at Sunningdale in 1992 and was fifth in the British Open that season, but his first victory did not come for another three years and only four years ago he was a lowly 116th on the Order of Merit. Around that time Karlsson, fully aware how talented he was and how well he should be doing, resolved not to be so hard on himself. The results since have been spectacular. He finally made it into the Ryder Cup team two years ago in Ireland and this year has come eighth in The Masters, fourth in the British Open and seventh in the US Open. A second appearance against the Americans came in September and either side of that he had wins in Germany and Scotland to move ahead of Harrington. The Irishman, Order of Merit champion two years ago, could never recover from an opening 76. But he still has no complaints about his 2008. “I know what this season is going to be remembered for in a week&aposs time, a month&aposs time and a year&aposs time,” said the Open and US PGA champion. New Zealand&aposs Mark Brown hit a closing 74 to finish at 13-over, while Scott Strange had a disastrous 79 that saw him end the tournament in a share of 50th place at 18-over. Fourth Round of the Volvo Masters, Spain -8: Soren Kjeldsen 65 71 69 71 -6: Martin Kaymer 73 70 67 68, Anthony Wall 69 69 71 69 -4: Sergio Garcia 68 70 70 72, Lee Westwood 70 68 70 72 -3: David Lynn 69 73 70 69 -2: Richard Green (Australia) 73 70 72 67 -1: Anders Hansen 74 69 69 71, Graeme McDowell 72 70 74 67 E: Peter Hedblom 71 74 72 67 +1: Darren Clarke 71 69 72 73, Ross Fisher 76 70 70 69 +2: Markus Brier 72 69 74 71, Robert-Jan Derksen 72 70 72 72, Soren Hansen 74 71 70 71, Peter Hanson 72 69 73 72, Padraig Harrington 76 71 71 68, Andres Romero 74 72 68 72, Steve Webster 72 71 73 70