England's Dougherty wins BMW International Open

Updated: 29 June 2009 14:25 IST

Nick Dougherty shot a final round 64 to win the BMW International Open by one stroke on Sunday and claim the third European Tour victory of his career.

England's Dougherty wins BMW International Open

Munich:

Nick Dougherty shot a final round 64 to win the BMW International Open by one stroke on Sunday and claim the third European Tour victory of his career.

The 27-year-old Englishman finished with a 22-under total of 266, beating Rafa Echenique by just one stroke after the Argentine produced an albatross two at the par five 18th to complete his 10 under 62.

Overnight leader Retief Goosen of South Africa finished third, four strokes behind Dougherty, after a final round of 71 at the Golfclub Munchen Eichenried.

The narrow margin of Dougherty's victory was, however, somewhat artificial. It had looked as though he would win easily when he produced his ninth successful birdie putt of the day on the 15th to go four strokes clear of his nearest rival.

But that lead lasted less than a minute as around half a mile away the large German crowd that had gathered around the 18th green witnessed an astonishing feat.

From a distance of 243 yards, Echenique hit a three-iron into the hole for an albatross that took him to 21-under and turned the pressure on Dougherty.

Echenique, ranked 157th in Europe this year and struggling to win enough money to keep his tour card, had played the last nine holes in just 27 shots to climb into contention.

Dougherty, however, kept his nerve. He parred the last three holes comfortably and only needed to hole a two-inch putt on the final green to add to his previous tournament victories at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in 2007 and the Caltex Masters in 2005.

"I have been playing well recently but things have often seemed to be going against me," Dougherty said. "When I moved four strokes in front I thought my time had come, but then within a minute the news came through from the 18th green and I thought 'Oh no, not again'."

Dougherty had begun his final round three shots behind Goosen and one stroke adrift of local German hero Bernhard Langer. Since both of his playing partners were proven winners, with four of Golfs major titles won during their careers, Dougherty started out as the underdog. But he birdied his first three holes of the day and was not to be removed from the top of the leaderboard for the rest of his round.

While Goosen slipped to third, Langer, who will be 52 in August, saw his bid to become the oldest winner on the European Tour fizzle out as he settled for a share of ninth place after shooting a level 72 for 273.



Topics : Golf
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