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Pablo Larrazábal wins again after fabulous finish at KLM Open

Pablo Larrazábal wins again after fabulous finish at KLM Open

Pablo Larrazábal secured his second DP World Tour victory in three starts and ninth in total after producing a big finish to win the 2023 KLM Open by two shots.

The Spaniard saw his overnight lead evaporate in the early stages of Sunday's fourth round but he recovered with a series of birdies to sit in a five-way tie at the top after 12 holes.

And he finished with a flourish, birdieing the 15th, 17th and 18th to sign for a closing 69 and finish the tournament on 13 under par.

Larrazábal, who came into the week fresh from playing four rounds at last week's US PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club, now has two victories in 2023, having won the Korea Championship Presented by Genesis in April.

Fellow Spaniard Adrian Otaegui finished alone in second on 11 under after closing his final-round 70 with a birdie.

Rasmus Højgaard and Deon Germishuys were then in a tie for third, one stroke further back.

Larrazábal went into the final round with a one-shot lead after Saturday's spotless 67 but he made a double bogey at the second to slip from the summit.

He recovered brilliantly, though, holing monster birdie putts at the sixth and seventh to return to ten under and grab a share of the lead.

After missing the ninth green, Larrazábal surrendered a bogey there but got a bounce-back birdie from six feet on the tenth.

And he remained in a tie at the top until the 15th, where he produced a shot-of-the-day contender to access a tricky flag before knocking in his six-foot birdie attempt to lead on his own.

Larrazábal then extended his advantage to two strokes when he birdied the short 17th, having sent his tee-shot to around three feet.

And he saved his best for last, draining a 21-foot birdie putt on the 18th green to send the bumper crowd wild.

The win is Larrazábal's first since he turned 40 earlier this month, and he hopes to follow in the footsteps of countryman Miguel Ángel Jiménez by enjoying continued success over the next decade.

He said: "It doesn't matter how fast you run at the beginning, you have to run fast at the end to win the race.

"And that's what I did. What a putt on the last. I tried to make two putts from 20 feet and suddenly I made it.

"I'm so proud of myself and so proud of my team. We struggled big time through Covid but here we are - four wins in the last 15 months. It means too much to me.

"Hopefully I do 20 per cent of what Miguel did in his forties. This is the first win of 40."

Mike Lorenzo-Vera produced a memorable moment at the par-three eighth on Sunday, holing his tee-shot from 158 yards using an eight iron for a stunning ace.

He said: "The thing is, I've been playing golf now for 32 years and I never had any so I don't even think about it.

"Actually my caddie said to me when we started working together 'Oh you've never had any? You're going to have one with me'.

"Three weeks after, it proved. So hopefully he's going to tell me the same thing with a trophy one day!"

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