Pablo Larrazabal captured last year’s BMW International Open after a tense five hole play-off with compatriot Sergio Garcia. Here, in an excerpt from The European Tour Yearbook 2012, we recap how the Spaniard claimed his second European Tour title in Germany.
It is very rare that both players leave a play-off with a smile on their faces but that was precisely the situation which unfolded when Pablo Larrazábal finally beat compatriot Sergio Garcia on the fifth extra hole to win the BMW International Open.
Without question Larrazábal’s joy was greater, his second European Tour triumph giving the 28 year old from Barcelona not only a cheque for €333,330, which moved him into the top ten on The Race to Dubai, but also a European Tour exemption until the end of the 2013 season.
But Garcia quietly acknowledged his own satisfaction as not only did the 31 year old continue to show an encouraging return to form, his performance also guaranteed him a place in The Open Championship at Royal St George’s through the cumulative money list which took in all European Tour events from the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club through to Germany.
Larrazábal will be there, too, thanks to his victory, his only regret being that his beloved grandfather Manuel will not be there to witness it; the “captain of the family” as the new champion referred to him, having passed away the previous week.
However, if he was looking down on events in Munich, Manuel would have been proud of the way his grandson matched Garcia’s 68 in the final round before halving the first four holes of the play-off – twice in birdie four on the 18th, the 12th and the 17th – before another birdie four at the 18th was good enough as Garcia’s putt touched the right side of the hole but stayed above ground.
To order your copy of The European Tour Yearbook 2012, a 240-page, full colour hardback Official Publication with iconic pictures by Getty Images and essays from some of the game's top writers that takes you every step of the way through 52 tournaments and 29 destinations on The 2011 Race to Dubai, click here.