At the start of Sunday’s round there seemed to be only one winner, James Morrison. He sat two shots clear going into the final 18 holes and from the way he was playing it never looked like changing. The Englishman was chasing a second European Tour victory in just six weeks after winning the Spanish Open last month. But the challenge of was too hot to handle as he carded a final round of 77 to watch the BMW International open title slip from under his nose. Morrison has been through a mixed run of form with a win, a few top 20s and a disappointing missed cut at the Irish Open which ultimately means he is use to the pressure of the high standard of golf on the European Tour, but this time it seemed to much. No doubt that he will be in contention next time, he is too good a golfer to not progress into one of the greats.
In my last post, all about the build up to the BMW International in Germany, I backed the super Swede Henrik Stenson and he did not disappoint. In a tournament he has already won, experience was not an issue. A man of his calibre has no problem in closing out a tournament or putting himself in a winning position and staying there. But after a dispiriting second round which ultimately took him out of contention, a top 20 finish was looking to be the best possible outcome. A steady three under par on Saturday pushed him up the leader-board but still well off the pace. At the start of Sunday he was seven shots off the pace and had a mountain to climb to even come close to winning, but he almost did. A front nine of three under-par and extra two birdies and an eagle on the back nine put him in second place an equal the best round of the day. Stenson’s form couldn’t have come any sooner with the British Open just around the corner.
The man of the hour was Pablo Larrazabal who gave himself the best possible start on Sunday, with five birdies on the front nine. He looked to be a force to be reckoned with as he headed into the back nine, but the ship soon steadied as he carded a string of pars leading up to the 16th. The 16th proved decisive as his birdie at the par 4 was the difference between a play-off and the outright lead. You only have to look at his recent results to really understand how much of a surprise this victory is. He has missed the cut three times in his last six events and has yet to finish inside the top 40 when he has made the cut, until now of course. The Spaniard is a favourite among the players on tour and is a golfer at the highest quality and has a great record to show for it. His emotions have ran riot and he has pulled out of the French Open this week due to the sheer exhaustion he has attained over the past few days. He will be back for the Scottish Open the week before the British Open and why not have a rest, it is deserved.