Jesper Svensson wins dramatic play-off at Porsche Singapore Classic for first DP World Tour title

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SINGAPORE, 24 March 2024 – Jesper Svensson won his first DP World Tour title with a play-off victory over Kiradech Aphibarnrat at the Porsche Singapore Classic on Sunday (24 March). 

SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE – MARCH 24: Jesper Svensson of Sweden poses with the trophy after victory during Day Four of the Porsche Singapore Classic at Laguna National Golf Resort Club on March 24, 2024 in Singapore. (Photo by Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images)

The Swede matched the course record with a closing 63 at Laguna National Golf Resort Club to get to 17-under but extra holes were required as Aphibarnrat eagled the last in a 64.

Both men made a birdie on the first trip up the last and then exchanged a pair of pars before the 34-year-old Thai went over the back and made a bogey, leaving Svensson two putts for a par and victory.

Svensson may have turned professional nearly five years ago, winning on the Nordic Golf League in 2020, but his big breakthrough came last year with his victory at the B-NL Challenge Trophy on the European Challenge Tour.

SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE – MARCH 24: Jesper Svensson of Sweden celebrates victory on the 3rd play-off hole during Day Four of the Porsche Singapore Classic at Laguna National Golf Resort Club on March 24, 2024 in Singapore. (Photo by Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images)

He also achieved three second-place finishes on the Challenge Tour last year (the Swiss Challenge, Indoor Golf Group Challenge and the Andalucía Challenge de Cádiz) and on the DP World Tour (the Investec South African Open Championship and the Bahrain Championship presented by Bapco Energies). 

Svensson, 28, said: “It’s been a lot of good golf so it was nice to finally come out on top. It’s very hard to win so it’s really nice.

“It’s been a long journey. To win on my first season out here, I couldn’t have dreamt of it. It’s always been a dream to be a winner on the DP World Tour and to achieve it feels amazing.

“Combined with Challenge Tour last year and the beginning of this season I’ve had five second-place spots in the last year. I really wanted to come out on top here.

“There was a couple of times today I told Lucky, my caddie… on 14 we were thinking about laying up we both said ‘no, we’re not finishing second again’ and it was the best shot of the week.”

Svensson began the day five shots off the lead but got off to a blistering start, making birdies on the first and second and adding an eagle on the par-five third. He put an approach to eight feet at the sixth and chipped in at the eighth, followed by two consecutive bogeys. But Svensson recovered well with birdies at the 12th and 13th, and an eagle at the 14th before bogeying the next. 

Aphibarnrat had birdied the third, fifth, seventh and eighth but his chances looked to be fading as he bogeyed the 12th.

SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE – MARCH 24: Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand reacts after his eagle on the 18th hole during Day Four of the Porsche Singapore Classic at Laguna National Golf Resort Club on March 24, 2024 in Singapore. (Photo by Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images)

He took advantage of the par-five 14th, left himself six feet at the next and then holed a long putt at the 16th to share top spot. Svensson then hit a brilliant tee-shot into the 17th to edge ahead and a two-putt birdie at the par-five last saw him set the target at 17-under. But Aphibarnrat was not done and he put his second to 15 feet at the 18th, holing for eagle to set up the play-off.

Aphibarnrat, who had been chasing his fifth DP World Tour win, said: “It was a good fight out there. I just did everything I could to put myself in a good position. The eagle in the last put me in the playoff. 

“But in the play-off holes, Jesper really pushed me and kept the pressure on the whole time. He dominated the drive … it put me in quite a tough position and the last shot, I’m just trying to be perfect, because I know that my energy level was quite low in the heat. And I played so many holes. But I have to say congrats to Jesper for playing great golf.”

England’s Sam Bairstow carded a fourth consecutive 68 to finish at 16 under, one shot clear of countryman Andy Sullivan and two ahead of Frenchman Matthieu Pavon.

SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE – MARCH 24: Sam Bairstow of England tees off on the eighth hole during Day Four of the Porsche Singapore Classic at Laguna National Golf Resort Club on March 24, 2024 in Singapore. (Photo by Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images)

England’s Paul Casey was then at 13 under, with overnight leader David Micheluzzi, Spaniard Alejandro del Rey, Wales’ Rhys Enoch and Indian Shubhankar Sharma one further back.

Off the course, spectators to the US$2.5 million Porsche Singapore Classic were treated to a multitude of activities and refreshing food and beverage options at a bustling Spectator Village. These included the Par-Tee Time game, a timed activity where participants had to balance 18 golf balls on 18 tees in the shortest possible time, as well as the Birdie Blitz Rewards claw machine. The iconic Porsche 996 Swan Car also made an appearance at the Laguna National Golf Resort Club, and was one of the highlights among visitors. 

This year’s event welcomes Porsche as its new Title Partner, with the German automobile giant continuing its long-standing relationship with the DP World Tour by extending its global golf involvement. Event information is available on the Porsche Singapore Classic website, as well as its Facebook and Instagram pages.

Player quotes

Jesper Svensson

Thoughts on his win

“It’s unreal. It hasn’t really settled in yet. It’s been close a couple times, on the Challenge Tour last year as well, just came short. And then this year obviously two tournaments were coming up short. So I mean, it feels great to come out on top. It’s just so hard to win, so it was great. At one point I didn’t really think about what the score was. I started off very hot and then cooled down a little bit in the middle. And then we came back, and then I think coming down the stretch (I thought) if I can finish with two birdies here it’ll definitely put us in a good chance to do it.”

SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE – MARCH 24: Jesper Svensson of Sweden poses with the trophy after victory during Day Four of the Porsche Singapore Classic at Laguna National Golf Resort Club on March 24, 2024 in Singapore. (Photo by Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images)

On whether he was aware of the leaderboard

“No, not at all. First time I saw the leaderboard I think it was on the ninth fairway. So I saw that we were up on top, made two bogeys, then tried to stay in it.”

On whether he was aware of Kiradech Aphibarnrat’s progress 

“No, I had no idea. I know the stretch in the last couple holes is pretty hard, and so (my caddy) told me about that the save he made on 17 and the eagle, I heard when he made that putt. So then obviously in the playoff, it was a hard battle. 

On winning his first title in 14 appearances on the DP World Tour and whether he expected to win in such a short period of time

“No, I mean, it’s always been a dream. Just to get this title means a lot and it’s a dream of mine coming true.”

Kiradech Aphibarnrat

Thoughts on his round 

“Well, it was a good fight out there. I just did everything I could to put myself in a good position. The eagle in the last put me in the playoff. But in the play-off holes, Jesper really pushed me and kept the pressure on the whole time. He dominated the drive, he’s like 50, 60 yards in front of me every single time. It quite made me in a tough position and the last shot, I’m just trying to be perfect, because I know that my energy level was quite low in the heat. And I played so many holes. But yeah, I have to say congrats to Jesper for playing great golf.”

SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE – MARCH 24: Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand putts on the 1st play-off hole during Day Four of the Porsche Singapore Classic at Laguna National Golf Resort Club on March 24, 2024 in Singapore. (Photo by Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images)

On whether his performance in Singapore has given him renewed self-belief and confidence

“100%. My ball striking was insane this week. I feel like I’m back to where I was. The putter on the second round and third round wasn’t hot enough. But anyway, I know that I got something in me that really pulled me off in the tough spot with my back against the wall — I know that I need to do it and I’ve showed it, I can do it. So I just need everything to come back on the same road again.” 

On whether getting his PGA Tour card back is on his mind 

“Well, I’ll just leave that in the future. I’m just going to play, try to win on the DP World Tour again, try to find my fifth or my sixth titles. But yeah, winning is the goal for me this season.”

Credit: Porsche Singapore Classic

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