A closing level-par 72 in a tense finale at the Real Club
for a 14-under-par 274 earned Kjeldsen, 33, the $225,000 first
The winning margin flattered Kjeldsen because the pair were
locked together until the short but formidable 17th hole.
There was a two-shot swing when Drysdale, looking for his
maiden tour title, found the greenside bunker to bogey while
Kjeldsen birdied by running in a second successive 20-foot putt.
The Dane had holed from a similar length on the long 16th to
save par after finding the water with his approach to stay on
level terms with Drysdale.
When the 34-year-old Drysdale sent his approach into the lake at
18th he had to work hard to only make double-bogey for a 74 and
take second spot on his own, equaling his best tour finish.
Kjeldsen was delighted with to have found his form, especially
since he will be making his U.S. Masters debut in under two
"It was a tough day, I felt nervous and not 100 percent
comfortable," Kjeldsen, who called his water shot at 16
"I was starting to give it away and I had to grit my teeth
and dig deep.
"It was great to make those putts on 16 and 17. When David
did what he did then the tension went out of me.
"I made a lot of putts this week ... [and] I'm pleased with
my whole game with the Masters coming up."
The win ensured that the 54th-ranked Dane would re-enter the
Drysdale, who had to settle for equalling his runner-up
finish at the 2006 Russian Open, said: "I'm very disappointed
with my finish but I knew it was all or nothing in the end and
had to at least make birdie."