An incredible finish to the final day's play in the British Masters saw Thorbjorn Olesen seal the title, despite almost throwing away his lead.

The Dane came into day four at The Belfry in first place but struggled in the early going, bogeying the first hole and he was four over par for the day after 16 holes.

However, an eagle on 17 followed by a birdie on 18 allowed Olesen to leapfrog his challengers and win by just one shot, remarkably matching the same eagle-birdie finish he produced to end his third round.

The turnaround denied Sweden's Sebastian Soderberg, who shot a round of 68 on Sunday to end on nine under for the tournament before Olesen managed to claw his way back up to 10 under at the death.

It could also have been a different story for Scotland's Richie Ramsay, who was on 10 under himself earlier in the day heading to the 18th hole, but a double bogey sent him back down to eight under, ending up tied for third with Connor Syme and Justin Walters.

Elsewhere, there was an unlucky moment for another Dane as Rasmus Hojgaard saw his second shot on the 16th land straight in the hole, before bouncing back out again. He ended the tournament tied for 16th on five under par.

Host Danny Willett also finished tied for 16th, while Jordan Smith climbs one place to sixth in the DP World Tour rankings after finishing tied for 21st on four under.

It was a weekend to forget for Spaniard Rafael Cabrera Bello, though, who finished 67th out of the 68 who made the cut, ending with a round of 78 and a final score of nine over par, dropping to 12th in the tour rankings.

Richard Bland finally won a European Tour title at the 478th attempt as the 48-year-old saw decades of persistence pay off at the British Masters.

The Englishman first appeared on the circuit in 1998 and had three runner-up finishes and a pair of third places to his name across his career before this week, but the first win had proven elusive.

However, he put that right on Saturday at The Belfry, a closing 66 taking him to 13 under par before Bland held his nerve in a play-off to deny Italian Guido Migliozzi.

Bland made birdie at the 18th with a putt from almost 30 feet for a six-under 66 to set the clubhouse target, but Migliozzi joined him on that mark by picking up shots at the 15th and 16th holes.

It would have been a nervy wait for Bland as Migliozzi targeted the birdie in the closing two holes that would have brought him the title, but the 24-year-old could not make it happen as he settled for a 68, triggering the play-off.

When Migliozzi missed from around 10 feet for par at the first extra hole - the 18th - Bland had the chance to slot the winning putt from close range, and he made no mistake.

"I've done it," said an emotional Bland on Sky Sports. "My game had been trending in the right way and I'd worked really hard, as you know we've worked so hard on the wedges."

Interviewed by his coach Tim Barter, Bland, who collects €339,278 for his win, said: "I just drove the ball so well this week. I've gone back to my old driver. Round here - especially for me, I'm not the longest on tour - so I've got to hit fairways and I've probably missed single-digit fairways all week.

"If I have missed one it's been by a couple of inches. I came off a pretty decent week last week and a top 10 [last month] in Gran Canaria so I knew my game was in decent shape."

Finland's Mikko Korhonen shared third place on 12 under with England's Dave Coupland and Polish player Adrian Meronk, with another Englishman in Andy Sullivan tied for sixth with South African Dean Burmester.

Tournament host Danny Willett finished at nine under, the same mark as fellow Englishman Eddie Pepperell who was the overnight leader but struggled on the final day, a one-over 73 seeing him slide down the leaderboard to a share of 11th place.

Eddie Pepperell holed a long-range birdie at the last hole to take a one-shot lead into Saturday's final round of the British Masters at The Belfry.

The 30-year-old was a shot back from overnight leaders Calum Hill, Robert MacIntyre and Richard Bland at the start of play on Friday, but a second successive 68 moved him into the lead.

Pepperell, who won the tournament in 2018, finished strongly with three birdies in his last seven holes - including an impressive 40-foot putt on the 18th.

That moved the world number 210 to 10 under for the tournament, with six players - including erstwhile leaders Hill and MacIntyre - in a tie for second.

Edoardo Molinari, Adrian Meronk, Dean Burmester and Guido Migliozzi were all also a stroke off the pace in a congested pack that saw the leading 26 players separated by five shots at the 54-hole stage.

"I remember the game feeling easier when I was playing better a few years ago. That's what I'm trying to get back to," Pepperell told Sky Sports.

"There were times out there today I didn't get it and times when I did - that seems to be the way it is.

"I've still got things going on in the swing that I can feel aren't where they once were and can cause me aggro, so the game still feels difficult."

Pre-tournament favourite MacIntyre dropped his only shot of the day on the par-four 10th hole as he failed to recover from a wayward tee shot.

"The way I play golf is aggressive and the course suits me perfectly," MacIntyre said. "When I'm in the fairway, a right-hand side pin is in danger, I just can't leave it alone.

"I didn't drive it my best today but I hit my irons beautifully - they were all over the pin but the putter was cold. It was on fire the day before so hopefully it turns up tomorrow."

Three birdies in his last four holes ensured that MacIntyre's fellow Scotsman Hill also remained firmly in the mix, while Molinari revived his own hopes by posting a 64, the lowest score of the day.

Calum Hill dropped into a share of the lead with Robert MacIntyre and Richard Bland by bogeying the last hole in his second round at the British Masters.

Hill held a one-shot advantage when he teed off at the 18th at The Belfry on Thursday, but moved to back seven under in a disappointing finish.

The 26-year-old Kirkcaldy native was a shot back from overnight leader Matthias Schwab at the start of the day and a two-under 70 kept him firmly in the mix.

Hill birdied the third and chipped in from thick greenside rough to go seven under at the fourth, going out in 35 after a first bogey of the day at the par-four eighth.

Back-to-back gains followed straight after the turn, but he was unable to stay out on his own, bogeying the final hole after reeling off six consecutive pars.

MacIntyre made his move with a brilliant six-under 66, starting with five birdies in a row and picking up another three shots on the back nine after bogeys at the sixth and 12th.

The left-hander, tied for 12th in The Masters last month, had started the tournament with a 71, but surged up the leaderboard with a magnificent second round.

Bland backed up his opening 68 with a three-under 69 and the Englishman is bogey-free through his opening two rounds.

Frenchman Julien Guerrier signed for a sublime 66 to stand well poised just a shot off the leading trio along with Justin Harding and Eddie Pepperell.

Matthias Schwab set the early pace at the British Masters by posting an impressive opening-round 66, with tournament host Danny Willett among the chasing pack at the Belfry.

In-form Schwab, who has three top 10s in his last four events but is yet to win on the European Tour, had seven birdies and just one dropped shot.

The Austrian picked up strokes at 16, 17 and 18 in a fast finish to take the tournament lead at six under par.

Schwab is one shot clear of Calum Hill and two ahead of a nine-man group at four under which includes his compatriot and seven-time European Tour winner Bernd Wiesberger, who had an eagle at 17.

Wiesberger is in contention despite finding the water twice.

Assessing conditions, second-placed Hill said: "You have to drive it quite well, there are a lot of demanding tee shots.

"There are a few bits that you can catch yourself out going to the greens but it is a good test of golf."

Willett is among those at three under, though he will rue a costly bogey at the 18th that stopped him from being two adrift overnight.

Pre-tournament favourite Robert Macintyre is at one under after a quiet first round, while defending champion Renato Paratore is at one over.

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