Flying start to final round earns Larrazabal second BMW Open crown
PABLO LARRAZABAL attributed his second BMW International Open title in four years to a flying front nine holes in his final round in Munich yesterday.
The Spaniard reached the turn in five-under-par 31 before adding a crucial sixth birdie on the 16th to card 66 and finish with a 17-under total of 271 and beat Henrik Stenson by a single shot.
Stenson fired himself right into the mix with an eagle at 11 as well as five birdies in a round of 65 but the Swede had to settle for second place as Larrazabal’s nerve held over the closing holes.
Larrazabal said: “I knew that I was in a good position, two groups ahead, and I knew that I had to start very fast. I had to start with a few birdies in the first holes and I started very well.
“I was hitting the ball as well as I have hit it all year and my putting was awesome. The course is tougher coming in so I knew I needed to put myself in a good position.
Stenson’s birdie at 18 briefly put him in a tie for the lead, but a three for Larrazabal on the 16th proved decisive.
Asked if he was aware on the course how close the Swede had been to him, Larrazabal replied: “I knew, I knew exactly. Henrik is not German but he has a lot of German friends, and we could hear the roar.”
Larrazabal’s fourth win on the European Tour came two months before he is to marry his girlfriend Gala Alten.
He added: “In two months I will be a married man, so this is awesome. Being with her again around Munich and around this beautiful golf course – this is a place that has given us a lot of great memories and being married to her is a dream come true.”
England’s Chris Paisley finished third after shooting 71 for a 273 total. The South African Retief Goosen (67) tied for fourth with Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat (68) and another Spaniard, Carlos del Moral (69).
The overnight leader, Paisley’s fellow Englishman James Morrison, had no birdies and five bogeys in a 77.
Paul Lawrie and Chris Doak, the only two Scots to survive the halfway cut, shared 29th place on seven-under-par 281.
Lawrie had two birdies and three bogeys in his round of 73 while Doak recorded three birdies and two bogeys in a 71.
Lawrie arrived back home last night ahead of four events in Scotland over the coming five weeks. He hosts a Paul Lawrie Foundation day at Skibo Castle before heading to Gullane for the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, which starts on July 9.
He will then cross the Firth of Forth for a 23rd Open Championship appearance – Lawrie’s fifth at Andrews. On July 30 he will then host the inaugural Saltire Energy Paul Lawrie Match-Play at Murcar Links.
TWO-TIME WINNER: Larrazabal