Pablo Larrazabal wins BMW International for second time

Sport360 staff 08:54 29/06/2015
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Hitting a purple patch: Pablo Larrazabal was bogey-free in his round of 66.

Pablo Larrazabal attributed his second BMW International Open title to a flying start as he carded a final-day 66 to see off the challenge of Henrik Stenson in Munich.

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The Spaniard reached the turn in a five-under-par 31 and added a crucial sixth birdie on the 16th to finish at 17-under, one shot ahead of the Swede.

Stenson fired himself right into the mix with an eagle on the 11th hole as well as five birdies in a round of 65, but ultimately had to settle for second place as Larrazabal, the 2014 Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship winner, held his  nerves over the closing holes.

The Barcelona-born 32-year-old 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 think I was five-under for the front nine and hitting the ball great, as well as I have hit it all year, and my putting was awesome. I made a lot of great putts.

“Coming in, you have a lot of holes with a lot of trouble, so I knew I needed to put myself in a good 
position to make birdies. I made birdie on 16, a great shot.

“I had memories from the past – I lost the tournament over there back in 2010, going 19-under par with three to play, and I lost it over there, so I had that in my mind, ‘Put it on the green and try to make the putt’. If not, four is a great score in 16.”

Stenson’s birdie at 18 briefly left 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, he replied: “I knew, I knew exactly.

“Henrik is not from Germany but he has a lot of German friends, and we could hear the roar. That kind of roar is for [Martin] Kaymer or for one of the best in the world, and I knew that Henrik was coming fast.

“But he birdied the last and I birdied 16.”

It was Larrazabal’s second win in Munich and fourth on the European tour, and it came two months before he is to marry his long-time girlfriend Gala Alten.

He said: “In two months I will be a married man, so this is just 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.”

Stenson’s late flourish took him one shot clear of England’s Chris Paisley, whose 15-under-par four-round total of 273 earned him third place in his own right, although he might have claimed a share of second with a long putt on the 18th which came up just short.

South African Retief Goosen tied for fourth with Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat and another Spaniard, Carlos del Moral, a further stroke back, with Northern Ireland’s Michael Hoey in joint-seventh with Swede Peter Hanson on 13-under.

It proved a sobering day for overnight leader James Morrison.

The 30-year-old Englishman did not make a single birdie and carded no fewer than five bogeys as his chance of glory slipped away amid the charge ahead of him.

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