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Sunday, 09 September 2012
KLM Open champion Peter Hanson  (Getty Images)
KLM Open champion Peter Hanson (Getty Images)

Peter Hanson was thrilled to end a traumatic week on a high note after overhauling Pablo Larrazábal to claim victory in the KLM Open.

The European Ryder Cup player came close to withdrawing from the event at Hilversumsche GC after his one year old son Tim was hospitalised with a respiratory virus on Friday.

Upon receiving positive news on his child’s condition, Hanson opted to continue and the decision paid off as he secured a fifth European Tour title with a stunning eagle at the 18th.

He finished on 14 under, having surpassed the four players – including Larrazábal – who had held the lead at the beginning of the final round to triumph by two strokes.

“It’s always a nice feeling (to win), but especially this week with how things have been with my son being a little bit ill,” said Hanson.

“He has managed to get over that and he’s getting better and better, which is the most important thing.

“When he was put into hospital on Friday, I was panicking. He was not good for 12 to 14 hours there and as a parent that makes you feel very vulnerable.

“I just wanted to go back home and look after the family, but my wife convinced me to stay. They were in good hands; there was nothing I could do and she was telling me that, but when your kids get sick you don’t think straight.”

Quizzed on how he was able to maintain his concentration in trying circumstances, Hanson replied: “When we get a chance to lift these trophies, something just clicks in your head. I was just trying to stay focussed.

“This was needed. It’s been a bit of a slow summer for me, so this came at a perfect time to get confidence back and feel ready for The Ryder Cup.”

Larrazábal looked set to triumph when Hanson, trailing by one, drove into trouble at 16.

However, the Swede rescued a stunning par from the trees and was soon back in a tie for the lead as Larrazábal bogeyed the same hole.

Hanson then knocked in a monster putt for a three on the closing par five and was able to celebrate soon after as his nearest rival finished with a par.

“I kind of knew it was going to be hard for Pablo to make three up the last to force a play-off,” Hanson added.

“When you make a long putt like that for victory, there is something inside you that just goes berserk.

“On 16 I had a little gap between the two trees and I needed to hit it through that with a bit of draw. Sometimes you have to take a chance and a risk and luckily it was my day.”

Larrazábal's closing 70 meant he shared second place with Richie Ramsay, the winner of last week’s Omega European Masters.

"Every time you finish second it is a good week," said the Spaniard. "But I’m disappointed with the finish. I played good enough to win today but when your putter is cold on Sunday you can forget it.

"That is what happened today. Level par with the way I played today tee to green is a poor score. You have to make the birdie putts.

Ramsay birdied three of the last four to match Hanson’s 67, but could not make it three SCottish victories in a row.

"I birdied three out of the last four which aren’t easy holes, especially under pressure," he said. "It is a great feeling and I can go away with my head held high. I definitely chased him down. I said to him I gave you a scare there. It’s nice to see him win but I’m massively pleased with my performance and more world ranking points.

"On the last hole I was thinking I could hole my eagle putt and have a little run around the green but he got in first. I didn’t happen for me this week but I’m proud that I gave it a go. The last three weeks have been great. Sixth, a victory and second. It’s nice to see hard work paying off.

Scott Jamieson claimed fourth on 11 under, while Graeme Storm and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño, the other players to share top spot overnight, were two shots further back along with Henrik Stenson.

Storm, 114th in The Race to Dubai, had previously admitted his focus was on securing his European Tour card for another season.

A cheque for € 64,440 therefore represented significant reason for cheer.

Stenson benefited from two eagles, yet it was Richard Finch who enjoyed the round of the day.

The Englishman moved to seven under courtesy of a 64 containing a holed bunker shot for birdie at four, an eagle at 12 and a stunning albatross at the last.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1HANSON, PeterSWE18-14
T2RAMSAY, RichieSCO18-12
T2LARRAZÁBAL, PabloESP18-12
4JAMIESON, ScottSCO18-11
T5STENSON, HenrikSWE18-9
T5STORM, GraemeENG18-9
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