Stephen Allan overcame adversity in the form of a nasty wasp sting and a triple bogey six in the final round to win the German Open at the Sporting Club Berlin.
The 24-year-old from Melbourne, whose parents emigrated from Edinburgh in 1970, resisted the challenge of defending champion Ignacio Garrido, Mark Roe, Padraig Harrington and Steve Webster to claim his first European Tour title.
Allan, second in the Dubai Desert Classic and a contender in Cannes earlier this year, finally found his way into the winner’s enclosure with a closing three under par 69 for an eight under par total of 280.
That score left the Australian one ahead of his four close pursuers and earned him a cheque for £116,660 and tenth position in the Volvo Ranking with £245,339.
“I knew my game was good enough,” said Allan. “It was just a case of getting it all together on the day. The more experience you get, the more comfortable you become when the pressure is on. “My goal is to finish in the top 15 in the Volvo Ranking in order to get into the US Open next year. So far I’m on target.”
It was a dramatic last hour at the stunning Nick Faldo-designed course at the equally spectacular Sporting Club complex. For most of Sunday afternoon it seemed that long-time leader Garrido would prevail, just as he had done in Stuttgart the previous year. But this time there was a sting in the tail for the Spanish Ryder Cup player.
Garrido had shared the first round lead with three others, Michael Campbell, Paul Lawrie and Frenchman Olivier Edmond. Campbell assumed command with a second round 70 to take a two stroke advantage at halfway. However Garrido’s 68 on Saturday propelled him into a three stroke lead over a chasing pack of four players, and it appeared that a successful title defence was on the cards.
The sting for Allan came on the third tee. He was bitten on the right arm and needed to reduce the swelling with a wet towel and a spray applied by a doctor. It didn’t affect his golf though, as he moved within a stoke of Garrido, who was paying steadily.
However Allan pulled his tee shot at the 13th into tress, took a penalty drop and finished up with an ugly triple bogey six. “I admit I thought I was looking at second place, but I was determined not to let one loose shot spoil my tournament,” added Allan, who got up and down at the last to finish at eight under.
Garrido finished horribly, with two bogeys and a double at the 13th which trapped Allan. Roe three putted the 17th from close range to drop back to seven under alongside his Spanish playing partner. “The turning point was the double bogey and bogey in successive holes,” said Garrido. “I’m annoyed to lose when I feel I should have won but it’s a good result and a good defence of the title.”
Roe, without a victory since 1994, commented: “It’s very frustrating. It was one that I lost. I could really see myself winning and that’s why I feel mad. You don’t get many chances to win and I just didn’t make any putts.”