England’ Nick Dougherty made it three career wins after he held off a determined late charge from Argentina’s Rafa Echenique to claim the BMW International Open on Sunday. It was his first tour victory in two years and is undoubtedly his most high profile.
Starting three shots behind the overnight leader, Retief Goosen, Dougherty carded four birdies in his opening five holes to draw level, and with nine birdies in all – including a trio of birdies at 13,14 and 15 – tempered slightly by one solitary bogey, posted a final round 64.
However, it wasn’t quite as comfortable as he would have liked after the Argentinian, Echenique, holed his 243-yard second shot at the par-five last hole to record an albatross. The three strokes gained meant he had carded a 62 and a European Tour record-equalling inward 27 to force Dougherty to make at least level-par for his closing three holes.
Dougherty made par on sixteen and seventeen, but had struggled with the last hole all week, having twice found the rough and water once on his three previous rounds. However, he managed to find the fairway from the tee and held his nerve to win.
Dougherty’s round was the lowest final tournament winning round of the season, and his 22-under-par four-round total is the lowest 72 hole score so far this year. The win secures Dougherty a place at next month’s Open Championship at Turnberry, as well as spots at several other high profile events.
Goosen, who had held the overnight lead going into the final round could only manage a one-under par total of 71 to finish on 18-under-par, while veteran Bernhard Langer – in second place overnight and bidding to become the oldest tournament winner in the European Tour’s history – also carded a 71 to finish in a share of eighth place.