The best of the action from the final round in Cologne as Matt Wallace held off a sensational late charge from Thorbjorn Olesen
Matt Wallace defied a sensational final round from Thorbjorn Olesen to clinch a one-shot victory at the BMW International Open in Germany.
BMW International Open
After three days of tough scoring conditions at Golf Club Gut Laerchenhof near Cologne, the final 18 holes featured a barrage of birdies with Wallace making five in seven holes after the turn in a closing 65 which earned him his third European Tour title on 10 under par.
Olesen, winner of the Italian Open earlier this month, looked primed to snatch an unlikely victory when he birdied eight of the last 10 holes to post a remarkable 11-under 61 which gave him the clubhouse lead for three hours.
But Wallace also took advantage of the friendly course set-up on the inward half as he emerged from the pack to pip the in-form Dane, who had to settle for a share of second place with Mikko Korhonen and home favourite Martin Kaymer.
3:17 Matt Wallace celebrates his second win of the year after he produced an outstanding back nine to clinch a one-shot win at the BMW International Open.
Olesen began the final round seven shots adrift of the leaders, but he began to make inroads when he followed a birdie at the second with an eagle at the fourth, and another birdie at nine ignited his outstanding late charge.
The 28-year-old picked up further shots at 10, 11 and 13 before making birdies at each of the final four holes to set a testing target for the later starters, signing his scorecard just as the final pairing of Chris Paisley and Lucas Bjerregaard were making their way down the first.
But while several leading challengers struggled to avoid costly mistakes, Wallace kept his card clean although he could not build on a flying start with two birdies over the first three holes as he put together a run of five pars before finding his range on the greens after the turn.
Wallace emulated Olesen’s birdies at the 10th, 11th and 13th and he suddenly found himself in the outright lead after two more gains at 15 and 16, but he then gave his rivals a glimmer of hope when his tentative 40-foot putt for birdie on the 18th green pulled up five feet short.
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June 25, 2018, 7:00pm
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However, the 28-year-old Englishman held his nerve to rattle in the par-saving putt which secured his second win of the year following his play-off victory over compatriot Andrew “Beef” Johnston at the Hero Indian Open in March.
“I work hard for this, and I believe I can do it,” said the champion afterwards. “I want to go further, and I want to keep building on this. Obviously this gives me a lot of confidence to go on and play well and I want to kick on and hopefully do this in the bigger events from now on.
“This is great, this is a step in the right direction. We’ll keep working hard to bigger and better things.”
Kaymer, still without a win since his US Open triumph four years ago, hit back from a bogey at eight with birdies at 10, 13 and 15 and needed one more to force extra holes, but a dropped shot at the 17th ended his chances.
The German did gain consolation with a good putt for birdie at the last to post a 68, while Korhonen was one stroke better on the day after the Finn birdied three in a row from the 15th but could not find another at the last.
Aaron Rai closed with a 69 as he left himself too much ground to make up following a double-bogey at the short fourth, and he shared fourth place on eight under with fellow overnigh co-leader Bjerregaard.
Andy Sullivan earned his fourth top-10 finish in his last five starts after a 69, while last year’s Masters champion Sergio Garcia enjoyed a birdie-eagle-birdie run on the back nine before two closing pars completed a 68 which left him five behind the champion.
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