14 June 2021: Jonathan Caldwell claimed his maiden European Tour victory at the ground-breaking Scandinavian Mixed Hosted by Henrik & Annika after the Northern Irishman produced a stunning birdie at the last to overcome the challenges of Adrian Otaegui and Alice Hewson.
It was a fitting finish to the co-sanctioned European Tour and Ladies European Tour event as Englishwoman Hewson had an opportunity coming down the stretch to force a play-off with her male counter-part Caldwell.
The 37-year-old Caldwell had set the clubhouse target at 17 under after equalling the best round of the week with an eight under 64 – also the best round of the final day – which was rounded off in style thanks to a remarkable second shot from the rough for a tap-in closing birdie.
Spain’s Adrian Oteagui had an opportunity to clinch the title at the death after giving himself a birdie opportunity at the 72nd hole for an 18 under total, but his three-putt meant Hewson was the last person standing with a chance to force extra holes.
The 23-year-old had to hole out with her approach at the 18th to do so but a par four for a three-under 69 meant she still claimed the honour of the highest-placed Ladies European Tour player, in outright third one stroke behind runner-up Otaegui.
“It was really exciting. I got off to a bit of a shaky start, was definitely nervous on those first few holes but managed to get some momentum on the back nine, but I’m just really excited with my performance this week especially after a tough start to the season.
“It was great fun, it was nice to see my name working this way up the leaderboard. It would have been nice to have holed that putt at 17 and given myself a chance on 18 but it is what it is and it was just really fun.
“This has been an exceptional opportunity for women’s golf as a whole, for us to be on this stage and to prove to everyone how good women’s golf actually is, it’s been such a great opportunity and I’m just so happy to have been a part of it.
“I’m so grateful to Annika and Henrik for putting this on for us and I’m so happy to have been a part of this first one.”
For Caldwell, who partnered Rory McIlroy while representing Great Britain and Ireland at the 2007 Walker Cup as an amateur, it is a life-changing victory having struggled to make his mark on the professional game for 13 years and even working part-time in a golf store to fund his European Tour dreams.
“My immediate feelings are probably a bit of disbelief if I’m to be honest, it’s been a dream of mine for quite a long time obviously. A lot of hard work goes into it so it hasn’t quite sunk in yet but hopefully more to come.
“In 2009 I played my first year, lost my card, played mini tours and Challenge Tour down the years, worked as well in a local golf store so it’s been a long road. But finally I’m here.
“I missed a short putt at 17 and didn’t know where I stood at that point and I said to my caddie let’s make birdie down the last. I hit a pretty poor tee shot and got away with a good lie and somehow managed to get it up to two feet and make the putt.
“It’s been a tremendous week, what they’ve don’t this week is fantastic. I hope we have more weeks like this, the golf course was tremendous, I played with some great girls this week. I got a fist pump from Annika when I came off the 18th green which was pretty incredible – probably the greatest ever women’s golfer so that was pretty special.
“The golf club at home will probably be going bonkers so put a tab on guys and go bonkers. My parents have been with me the whole way so I’m looking forward to talking to them tonight.”
He became just the eighth Northern Irishman to win on the European Tour, rising to 43rd in the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex in the process.