Mansfield golfer Oliver Wilson returns from obscurity with dramatic European title win

GolfMansfield golfer Oliver Wilson staged a remarkable return to form to clinch his first European title at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on Sunday.

The victory is one of golf’s greatest comeback stories with Wilson entering the weekend ranked 792nd in the world – a far cry from his European Tour peak several years ago.

After representing Europe at the 2008 Ryder Cup, Wilson’s form took a huge nosedive over the subsequent years and he quickly dropped out of the elite top 50.

Wilson, 34, lost his European Tour card in 2011, and after needing an invite to play at St Andrew’s this weekend, many had written off his chances of winning even before teeing off.

Despite pressure from a chasing pack including the indomitable Rory McIlroy, the Coxmoor golfer held his nerve to pocket nearly £500,000 and his first ever European title after finishing runner-up nine times in his career.

His playing partner Tommy Fleetwood had the opportunity to send the contest into a play-off but missed a 10ft putt for a birdie on hole 18.

McIlroy and Scotland’s Richie Ramsay finished tied with Fleetwood on 16 under par.

The title win now sees Wilson, who splits his time between Mansfield and Augusta, Georgia, shoot up the rankings and regain his spot on the European Tour.

The glory was made all the more sweeter when his wife Lauren surprised him after flying up to Scotland to celebrate the win after a dramatic climax to the tournament.

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