|Thomas Bjorn (Reuters file photo)
Perthshire, Scotland - After bogeying the 17th hole to fall out of the lead, it seemed that Thomas Bjorn's chances at winning the Johnny Walker Championship at Gleneagles were slim.
But he waited in the clubhouse at 11-under 277, watched Mark Foster bogey the 72nd hole and then Bjorn emerged to win in a wild five-man playoff on the fifth playoff hole.
In one of the biggest playoffs player-wise in European Tour history, Bjorn finished with three straight birdies on the par-five 18th to beat out George Coetzee, Foster, Pablo Larrazabal and Bernd Weisberger for his 12th win on tour.
The playoff at The Gleneagles Hotel featured a repeat performance on the 18th, where Foster's slip-up in regulation gave hopes to four other players.
Weisberger was the first one out after an opening bogey, watching the other four advance with matching pars. Larrazabal followed in Wiesberger's footsteps on the next try at No. 18, bogeying the par-five while Bjorn, Coetzee and Foster all parred to keep moving.
Foster, who surrendered his third 54-hole lead of the year, survived the third hole when all three players parred, but double-bogeyed the fourth and saw Bjorn and Coetzee move on to the fifth and ultimately decisive extra hole.
Both Bjorn and Coetzee found the rough off the tee on the fifth try at No. 18, but Coetzee found himself with a steep downslope and had to chip to the fairway. Bjorn, meanwhile, advanced up the fairway with his second shot and used an eight-iron on his third to get within three feet of the pin.
Coetzee was not as lucky, approaching to 40 feet with a six-iron. After Coetzee's birdie putt went three feet past the hole, Bjorn sank his birdie chance to win the tournament.
Bjorn, 40, notched his second win of the season after February's Qatar Masters and improved to 2-0 lifetime in playoffs.