Golf Comment: Swedes flourishing as thoughts turn to US Open

Sam Torrance
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Lingmerth won in the US last week
IT’S BEEN quite a week for European golf, with players from this side of the Atlantic monopolising the top three places at the Jack Nicklaus-hosted Memorial Tournament.

Sweden’s David Lingmerth produced a pretty ballsy performance to beat Major winner Justin Rose in a lengthy play-off and scoop the biggest win of his short career.

Englishman Rose never disappoints and, though it was a shame he didn’t close out the win having led by three overnight, he will be pleased to be playing so well with the US Open approaching next week.

Few are playing better than Francesco Molinari, the Italian who finished third and has now ended in the top five three times in his last four outings. He is right back at the top of his game.

That form will make him one to watch at the US Open, the hardest but fairest of all the Majors, where narrow fairways and very punitive rough reward players like Molinari, who hits the ball so straight.

Masters winner Jordan Spieth showed signs of warming up for the year’s second Major by carding a very good final round of 65, but it wasn’t quite enough to challenge the leaders.

For others, current thoughts of the US Open are dominated less by hopes of winning and more by striving to qualify.

Among those trying to climb into the world’s top 60 – the cutoff point for entry – with a good display this week are former world No1 Luke Donald, who topped both European and American money lists less than four years ago.

Missing out would be huge for Donald. Let’s hope he makes it, but if he ends up falling short it might serve as a kick up the backside.

Finally, if it was a good week for Europe then it was an even better one for Sweden, with Alex Noren triumphing on home soil at the Nordea Masters in Malmo.

Noren, 32, has spent long periods troubled by wrist injuries, which makes his fantastic and commanding four-shot win all the more impressive.

Sam Torrance OBE is a multiple Ryder Cup-winning golfer and media commentator. Follow him on Twitter @torrancesam