Wall beats Noren to claim first title in 16 years


Anthony Wall held his nerve to narrowly beat Alex Noren in the final of the Paul Lawrie Match Play at Archerfield on Sunday to claim his first title in 16 years.

After coming through a marathon semi-final with Oliver Fisher on Saturday, unseeded Wall made a slow start to the final and Noren took the opening two holes.

But the 41-year-old immediately reduced the deficit at the third and the pair were all-square before the turn.

And Wall then got in front for the first time at the 11th after Noren found a bunker from the tee.

Wall had competed in 431 European Tour events since his last title and the Englishman twice recovered well from the sand to stay ahead of the tournament's second seed.

In blustery conditions in Scotland, Wall ran a long birdie putt past the hole at the 17th, but Noren's birdie chance to draw level caught the lip and stayed out.

Wall missed the fairway on the par-five 18th and the Swede piled on the pressure by nailing a drive to just short of the green with his second shot.

But Noren failed to take advantage of that approach shot, leaving himself a tricky birdie putt from 15 feet that he could not convert to hand a delighted Wall only the second title of his career. 

James Morrison beat Fisher 4&2 in the third place play-off earlier in the day, recording five birdies and an eagle during his terrific round.