Friday, 19 March 2010
But, at long last, perseverance paid off for 32 year old Claydon in the Munich sunshine as he fended off the challenge of Jamie Spence, the dual German threat of Thomas Gögele and Bernhard Langer, and Argentinian Angel Cabrera.

Claydon claimed the first prize of £141,660 by a single shot with an 18 under par aggregate of 270, one better than Spence who closed with a pair of 66s to take home £94,440.

Gögele claimed outright third on 272 while Langer just could not elevate his game to a high enough level to record his 11th win in his native Germany and his first in the BMW International Open.

It was a highly popular victory for the genial giant - a keen student of horse flesh - who never gave up hope that he might eventually force his nose in front at the finishing post. “I just go out every day and try my hardest,” explained Claydon. “Sometimes it doesn’t happen, but if you stick at it long enough you might eventually get there.”

And he did, with a considerable flourish at that. His unorthodox cut down swing and three knuckle grip might not appeal to the purists, but Claydon’s technique has proved highly effective time and again.

His opening six under par 66 was a sound effort, although it left him two behind Thomas Björn and one adrift of the Germans, Gögele and Sven Strüver.

By halfway, Björn was 13 under par, three ahead of the pack, and a substantial seven strokes better off than the eventual winner. Langer (68, 67) was right in the hunt and looking the obvious threat to the Dane.

Claydon’s best-of-the-day 64 on Saturday hauled him into contention and he finished off the job in clinical fashion on Sunday.

Björn’s charge ran out of steam as he finished bogey-bogey to finish four behind, while Langer spilled shots at the 14th and 17th. Gögele, who sank a long putt for a two at the 17th, failed to eagle the last while Spence, despite a brave birdie putt of eight feet on the home green, came up one short of a play-off.

So it was left to Claydon to enjoy the victory stroll up the 18th. Out in 36, he birdied the 11th and 12th, took the outright lead for the first time with another birdie at the 15th, then rolled in a lengthy effort at the 17th to be home in 32 and with an impregnable lead.

Darren Clarke, who shared 13th, moved another £13,053 closer to Lee Westwood at the top of the Volvo Ranking, while the popular Derrick Cooper’s joint sixth place earned him the honour of becoming the Tour’s 70th millionaire.

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