European Tour

Noren storms into Paul Lawrie Matchplay final

Alex Noren (AP)
Alex Noren (AP)

Gullane - Swede Alex Noren notched up two impressive victories on Saturday to set up a final against Anthony Wall in the Paul Lawrie Matchplay event in East Lothian on Saturday.

Surprise defeats for European Ryder Cup hopefuls Matthew Fitzpatrick and Chris Wood on Friday left Noren as the highest-ranked player in the tournament.

The 34-year-old took advantage by beating compatriot Johan Carlsson 4&2 on Saturday morning, before seeing off James Morrison in an entertaining clash 3&2 in the semi-finals.

"It feels amazing. I've never even been close in a match play event before, and it's pretty hard mentally these matches, but I like it," he told the European Tour website.

Noren, the world number 50, won the Scottish Open last month and will be a firm favourite to make it a double in the country on Sunday when he takes on England's Wall, who is 234th in the rankings.

"Probably (my) best consistency," Noren, a five-time European Tour winner, added about his season so far.

"I think this year has been quite consistent. Maybe not super golf all the time, but pretty consistent."

Wall, 41, came through two tight matches against Haydn Porteous and Oliver Fisher.

He edged past South African Porteous on the 18th hole, and then came through a marathon encounter with Fisher after four extra holes.

"Obviously sorry for Oli, because it was a good game and someone had to lose," Wall said.

"It's a shame, because we're good pals and we played well. It was a good game."

Journeyman Wall has played 431 European Tour events since claiming the only title of his career in South Africa 16 years ago.

As well as the final, Fisher and Morrison will contest a third-place play-off on Sunday.

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