SHENZHEN, China – Robert Karlsson and Henrik Stenson overcame a four-stroke deficit to win the 54th World Cup of Golf by three shots on Nov. 30 after a masterful nine-under-par 63 in the final round foursomes.
The Swedes fired nine birdies in the final round to catch then pass Spain, which led after the third round Nov. 29. The Swedish duo finished an impressive 27-under in the $5.5 million tournament.
“It's fantastic to win for Sweden, it's been a while,” said Karlsson, who is the top-ranked golfer on the European Pro Tour.
Sweden last won the World Cup when Per-Ulrik Johansson and Anders Forsbrand's topped the field in Rome in 1991.
It was a third title of the year for Karlsson but a first Stenson, the No. 12-ranked player in the world. Stesnon said he was delighted to finally finish top of the leader board.
“We played fantastic today to go out and shoot that score,” said Stenson, 32. “Germany were hot on Thursday, Spain on Friday and Australia yesterday so I was thinking that it was our turn today.”
Spaniards Miguel Angel Jimenez and Pablo Larrazabal, who shot a stunning 63 of their own in Friday's foursomes, were second after a final round 70 at Mission Hills Golf Club.
“We didn't play like the first and second rounds but still a good performance and a great tournament for us,” said Larrazabal, the European Rookie of the Year. “I wanted so bad to go home with the trophy and I'm a little bit sad now.”
The Swedes went into the tournament as the top-ranked duo among the 28 teams and for three days, played solid golf. They burst into life when it really mattered with a round which lacked the bravura of Spain's on Friday but was every bit as impressive.
Opening with a birdie as dragonflies buzzed around them at the first, they then picked up shots every other hole until the 11th, when they snatched the lead from the struggling Spaniards.
Another birdie at the 12th broke the alternate hole pattern but extended their lead and a couple more back-to-back at the 14th and 15th put them four clear.
Spain rallied with their second and third birdies at the 15th and 17th but, with the Swedes in the clubhouse, Larrazabal's drive at the 18th found a bunker and their hopes of an eagle to force a playoff lay buried in the sand.
Sweden's win was a fifth in a row for Europe and left 23-times champions the United States without a victory in the tournament since Tiger Woods and David Duval defended the title in 2000.