Fly­ing start to fi­nal round earns Lar­raz­a­bal sec­ond BMW Open crown

The Herald - Sport - - GOLF - COLIN CRAIG

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

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