Nick Dougherty claimed his first European Tour title for two years and described it as “probably my best win” after a one shot victory over Rafa Echenique at the BMW International Open.
The Englishman started the day three shots behind Retief Goosen but nine birdies and just a solitary bogey secured a sublime eight under round of 64 which completed a 22 under total.
“I was superb, really,” said Dougherty. “My attitude was world class - my golf game at times wasn't.
“I putted super, but I didn't feel like I had great control off the tee today. My irons were decent, but not as good as they have been - probably the worst I've hit it off the tee all week today.
“But managed to find my way around the golf course and I made some crucial putts, and to shoot 64 on any day is superb.”
It looked like being a comfortable win for the Liverpool player, but Argentina’s Echenique reached 21 under par thanks to an albatross two at the par five last.
His 243 yard three iron completed a round of 62, with a European Tour record-equalling inward 27, and meant Dougherty needed to par his last three holes.
The 16th and 17th were comfortably parred, and for the first time this week Dougherty found the fairway at the last having visited the rough twice and water once from the tee this week.
Dougherty’s effort was the lowest final round to win a tournament on The European Tour this season and his 22 under par the lowest 72 hole score so far this year.
“To go and beat two Major champions you're playing with and fend off a very exciting finish from Rafa, that really caught me by surprise a little bit,” Dougherty said of Echenique’s efforts. “I kind of thought I had done the deal once I hit the green on 16. But delighted with what I did and the way I went about my business.”
Goosen could only manage a one under 71 for 18 under, while 51 year old Bernhard Langer - second overnight and looking to become the oldest winner in The European Tour’s history - signed for a 71 and a share of eighth place.
This was Dougherty’s first win where he has come from behind in the final round and secures him a spot at the World Golf Championships - Bridgestone Invitational, World Golf Championships - HSBC Champions, the Mercedes-Benz Championship and perhaps most significantly The Open Championship at Turnberry next month.
Chile’s Felipe Aguilar, Scot David Drysdale, Spain’s Miguel Angel Jiménez and England’s Graeme Storm were one behind Goosen in fourth.
Echenique revealed it was his first albatross and could barely contain his delight.
“It's fantastic,” he said, “I have a great sensation. I played really good, really good for four days.
“I made a great eagle on 11 and then I starred making putts. It's unbelievable, this is a dream for me, and I would like to share with all my team with my family, with my manager, with my coach and I think this is for everybody.”
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