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Swede Blixt stuns on Masters debut

Swedish golfer Jonas Blixt is in contention to win the US Masters at his maiden attempt after ending the second day's play in third place at Augusta.

Swede Blixt stuns on Masters debut
Jonas Blixt hits out of a bunker on the 11th fairway during the second round of the Masters golf tournament on April 11, 2014, in Augusta. AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

The 29-year-old is just four shots shy of leader Bubba Watson going into the weekend's play. Blixt shot a 71 to vault into third place on the leaderboard at three under par. 

"This is all you want. You want to be in contention come Saturday and Sunday. So I'm very happy with where I'm at," Blixt told AFP.

He added; "You can't ask for anything else, to be up there and have a chance of winning."

No rookie has won the Masters in 35 years since Fuzzy Zoeller donned the green jacket at the first attempt in 1979.

Blixt, who is currently ranked 100th in the world, has chalked up three wins in his professional career and finished fourth in last year's USA PGA major championship.

He currently plays on the American PGA Tour and said he is enjoying the challenge of the Augusta National golf course in Georgia.

"It's baking up. It's going to be a fun test this weekend. I just love fast greens. It's so much fun to play. And I see the lines better. There's a lot more touch around the greens," he said.

If Blixt were to win the Masters he'd become the first Swede to claim the tournament, one of golf's prestigious four majors.

Indeed, no male Swedish golfer has ever won any of the four major tournaments (Masters, US Open, The Open, US PGA). Henrik Stenson came close to ending that run in 2013 when he was runner-up at the Open and then placed third at the US PGA.  

The Local/pr 

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GOLF

Sweden’s Noren storms to French Open title as fellow Swede Kinhult falters

Sweden's Alex Noren came back from a seven-shot overnight deficit to claim a dramatic French Open victory at Le Golf National on Sunday, as the difficult closing stretch of the Ryder Cup course saw a host of challengers slip up.

Sweden's Noren storms to French Open title as fellow Swede Kinhult falters
Swedish golfer Alex Noren holds the trophy after winning the HNA Open de France, as part of the European Tour 2018, on Sunday. Photo: LUCAS BARIOULET / AFP
Fellow Swede Marcus Kinhult had entered Sunday's play with a two-shot lead but struggled through a five-over final round to end in a three-way tie for fifth.
 
World number 16 Noren fired a brilliant four-under 67 to reach seven-under par for the tournament, before sitting back and watching his rivals falter as he won by a single stroke.
 
The 35-year-old will be a key figure for Europe when the Ryder Cup gets underway on September 28, and he showed all his qualities by playing the last three holes in two-under.
 
The big-name pairing of Sergio Garcia and Jon Rahm both threatened, but the two Spaniards found water at the 18th, while world number two Justin Thomas never seriously contended.
 
Julian Suri, who was looking to become the first American winner of the event since Barry Jaeckel in 1972, went to the 72nd hole on eight-under but made a watery double-bogey, while England's Chris Wood also blew a late lead.
 
That handed Noren, who finished his fourth round 45 minutes before the final group, a 10th European Tour title and first since the BMW PGA Championship in May 2017, when he also fought back from seven shots behind on the final day.
 
Scotland's Russell Knox carded a final-round 65 earlier in the day to finish tied for second with Suri and Wood on six-under — enough to secure him a spot for the British Open at Carnoustie along with Kinhult and Suri.