Friday, 19 March 2010

(Reuters) - Sweden's Niclas Fasth withstood a remarkable charge by 49 year old home favourite Bernhard Langer before winning the BMW International Open at at Golfclub München Eichenried near Munich by two strokes.

Fasth's closing two under par 70 for a 13 under par total of 275 kept out Langer, who had to settle for his fifth runner-up spot in the only German European Tour event he has never won.

Langer, finishing with a 67, shared second place with Portugal's José-Filipe Lima (72), who led the third round with Fasth.

Three strokes ahead of the field at the turn, Fasth's sixth European Tour title looked a formality as he continued the form that earned him fourth place in the US Open Championship the previous week.

However, with Langer holing a series of outrageous putts though - a 40-footer, two 25-footers and two from 15 feet – and Fasth double bogeying the tenth, the outcome of the title remained in doubt until the very end.

Langer tangled with the rough on the 18th and could only manage par to set an 11 under par target. Fasth stayed only one in front of the German until holing a seven-footer for birdie on the 17th to give him a crucial cushion and a par at the last confirmed his victory.

"All in all I played some amazing golf,” said Fasth who has now won five times in his last 60 European Tour events. “I’ve improved some things for this year and the biggest difference is that I now have huge confidence in my Callaway driver where before I didn’t hit enough fairways.”

 

“I really wasn’t in much trouble throughout the week here. And today, apart from the 15th where I had to hole from 15 feet for par, I didn’t really make any mistakes and was very happy about the way I played.

 

“I felt like it was my tournament to win or lose from the start of the final round and to come through the way I did feels fantastic.”

While Fasth took the €333,330 (£225,396) winner's cheque, Langer, who becomes a senior golfer in August, took top marks for determination.

He slid to five over par at one stage in the first round, suffering a painful neck which had to be treated on the course, nearly causing him to withdraw, and he could only manage a four over par 76.

Free of pain for the second round, he battled back with a 66 to make the cut on the 142 mark. Indeed, the 2004 European Ryder Cup Captain was aiming to become the first player in European Tour history to win a tournament from the cut line and also to become, at 49 years and 301 days, the oldest player ever to win a title on The European Tour.

Two late bogeys marred his third round, leaving him five strokes off the lead, but his remarkable putting display in the final round, took Langer right onto Fasth's shoulder.

"It was a great shame I had my injury on the first day or who knows what might have happened," he said. "I was trying to make a charge and holed some putts but then I had a couple of bad breaks, but that's golf."

It was Langer's second runner-up spot of the year, having lost a playoff to South African Rory Sabbatini in the Crowne Plaza Invitational on the US PGA Tour.

"Every once in a while the old swing shows up, the old talent shows, but unfortunately not often enough," he added.

Lima's birdie at the last took him alongside Langer, a stroke in front of Argentine Ricardo Gonzalez, Dutchman Maarten Lafeber and Dane Anders Hansen, the winner of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club last month.

 

“Niclas played very well, very solid and my game was not very good on the front nine,” said Lima. “It was not really the stress because I felt pretty good this morning but I actually felt I had a mistake in my grip on the front nine.

 

“On the tenth my caddie said to me he didn’t think my grip looked quite right and I changed it a little and my back nine was perfect. It was just a small mistake but I will make sure I don’t do it the next time.

 

“I am happy overall because my season has been pretty difficult up to now but with this result I can be a little bit more relaxed. Really I am very happy for myself and for my wife and for my caddie and my coach and everybody who is with me for my preparation. I can look forward to the rest of the season now.”

 

Get Adobe Flash player

Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1FASTH, NiclasSWE18-13
T2LANGER, BernhardGER18-11
T2LIMA, José-FilipePOR18-11
T4LAFEBER, MaartenNED18-10
T4HANSEN, AndersDEN18-10
T4GONZALEZ, RicardoARG18-10
R2D Fantasy

European Tour Partners

  • BMW
  • Emirates
  • UPS
  • Rolex
  • Rolex

European Tour Sponsors

  • Club Car

    Media Centre

    Official Partner

    Official Suppliers

    This website is © The PGA European Tour 1997 - 2014. PGA European Tour, Wentworth Drive, Virginia Water, Surrey, GU25 4LX. Registered in England No. 1867610.
    All rights reserved. No reproduction, distribution or transmission of any information, part or parts of this website by any means whatsoever is permitted without the prior written permission of the PGA European Tour.