Tobias Dier became the third German winner of The TNT Open in six years and the sixth wire-to-wire winner on The 2002 European Tour International Schedule, when a closing 69 gave him a one shot victory in the glorious sunshine of Hilversumche Golf Club.
The 26 year old finished on 17 under par 263 to follow in the footsteps of Sven Struver (1997) and Bernhard Langer (2001) and edge the fast finishing Jamie Spence, who closed with a 65 for 264 while Padraig Harrington and Peter Lonard shared third place on 15 under par 265.
The win gave Dier a cheque for 300,000 euro (£193,019) which elevated him into the top 50 of the Volvo Order of Merit at number 43 with 326,658 euro (£210,171) and also guaranteed him a two year exemption on The European Tour.
"I don’t really know what to say," admitted Dier, whose maiden victory came in last season’s North West of Ireland Open at Slieve Russell. "If somebody had said to me I was going to win before the start of the week, I would have told them to dream on because I wasn’t playing well - but now it is a fairytale for me.
"I didn’t really think about the way it was going in the last round, I just tried to keep on playing solid golf, hit the greens and see how the putter worked. I led from the first moment I stepped on the golf course this week so in a way it felt normal for me to be up there. Anybody else up there would have been a very strange feeling, so I thought I had better try and keep up there!"
The reason for Dier’s prominence all week was down to his scintillating course record 60 of the first round, the tenth such score recorded in European Tour history, which as well as proving to be the foundation for victory, also broke a host of 2002 season records.
The flawless ten birdie round was the lowest start by a winner this year as well as being the lowest first 18 hole score, and his five stroke advantage at the end of day one was also the largest of the season, beating the previous best of four held by Carl Pettersson in the Algarve Open de Portugal.
It did not stop there for the former German Amateur champion either. Further rounds of 67-67 saw him set the lowest 36 hole total of the season (127) and the lowest 54 hole total of the season (194). It left Dier with a three shot lead going into the last round and he held his nerve admirably to triumph.
To the turn in level par 35, the German gave a suggestion of nerves with a bogey five at the 11th where he drove into the trees. But he recovered his composure magnificently with an eagle three at the 12th and six solid par figures to finish saw him home safely.
Nearest challenger in the end proved to be Jamie Spence, whose closing eagle three at the 18th for a 65 and 16 under par 264 gave the 39 year old Englishman his best finish of the season.
"Before I came here this week I had a look back through the records of the tournaments played at this course," he said. "I really like it here, and because the par had been reduced from previous years, I thought that 15 under par would be a really good score, so I’ve beaten that by one shot and I’m delighted with my week."
Padraig Harrington, who partnered Dier in the final round, kept pace with his younger opponent for most of the way, but a bogey at the short 15th, where his tee shot overshot the green, effectively ended the Irishman’s challenge and he closed with a 68 for 15 under par 265.
Harrington was joined on the mark by Australian Peter Lonard, who birdied three holes in a row from the 12th to put pressure on the leader, but whose chance of victory effectively disappeared with a bogey five at the 16th.
One shot behind the duo, Jarrod Moseley took fifth on 13 under par 267, while Alastair Forsyth, Pierre Fulke, Ian Poulter and Justin Rose shared sixth on 12 under par 268.