Sergio Garcia enjoys a sweet 16th European Tour title with KLM success

Spanish star claims one-shot win over teenage Danish star Nicolai Hojgaard

KLM Open champion  Sergio Garcia celebrates  with his wife Angie and  daughter Azalea, while his brother and caddie Victor looks on. Photograph:  Ronald Speijer/EPA

KLM Open champion Sergio Garcia celebrates with his wife Angie and daughter Azalea, while his brother and caddie Victor looks on. Photograph: Ronald Speijer/EPA

 

Sergio Garcia was forced to use his formidable iron play and vast experience to claim the KLM Open by one shot in Amsterdam.

The Spaniard led by two shots at the fifth and seemed on course for a routine victory, only to trail playing partner Callum Shinkwin by one shot by the seventh following successive bogeys on a mixed front nine at The International.

However, a double-bogey at the 10th by the Englishman gave Garcia hope as he carded three birdies and a bogey to card a total of 18 under par and hold off Danish rising star Nicolai Hojgaard for his 16th European Tour title.

Matt Wallace was third at 15 under par, while fellow Englishman James Morrison was one shot further back as Garcia became the first Spanish winner of the KLM Open since Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano in 2005.

“It was honestly amazing to have my brother, Angie my wife and little Azalea [Garcia’s daughter] here, it’s very special,” Garcia told europeantour.com.

“Amazing. We had a great week and it’s great to win again. I played well all week under pressure. It wasn’t easy, there were a couple of tough moments today but I hung on tough, that’s the most important thing.

“I want to thank all my sponsors for their support and everything they do for me and the year just got a little bit better.”

The 2017 Masters champion looked to have sealed victory with a stunning approach from the rough at the 16th, despite having his feet in the bunker for the awkward second shot to hit in to five feet.

The birdie ensured a three-shot lead over Hojgaard but a poor tee-shot at the 17th marked Garcia’s only bogey on the back nine all week to drop to 18 under par just as the Dane got on the par-five last in two shots.

The 18-year-old Hojgaard slid his eagle putt by the hole to finish at 17 under before Garcia carded the par he needed to write his name alongside fellow Spaniards Fernandez-Castano, Seve Ballesteros and Jose Maria Olazabal as a KLM Open champion.

Pádraig Harrington finished in a share of 15th position after a three-under 69 moved him to nine under for the tournament.

Paul Dunne was two shots further back on seven under after a four-under 69 that included an eagle three on the closing 18th hole.

Gavin Moynihan dropped down the leaderboard after closing with a seven-over 79 to end the tournament on level par.

FINAL LEADERBOARD
British and Irish unless stated, par 72, (a) denotes amateur

270 Sergio Garcia (Esp) 68 67 66 69

271 Nicolai Hojgaard (Den) 67 69 67 68

273 Matt Wallace 75 67 63 68

274 James Morrison 68 67 69 70

275 Callum Shinkwin 66 69 66 74

276 Rikard Karlberg (Swe) 70 68 70 68

277 Wil Besseling (Ned) 72 66 69 70, Hugo Leon (Chi) 70 69 68 70, Joakim Lagergren (Swe) 71 66 69 71

278 Mike Lorenzo-Vera (Fra) 72 69 67 70, Joost Luiten (Ned) 69 69 70 70, Matthew Southgate 67 68 70 73, Thomas Pieters (Bel) 71 66 70 71, Bradley Dredge 72 65 72 69

279 Steven Brown 69 68 68 74, Liam Johnston 70 68 72 69, Ashley Chesters 71 68 69 71, George Coetzee (Rsa) 71 69 67 72, Pádraig Harrington 71 71 68 69, Patrick Reed (USA) 72 69 70 68

280 Kurt Kitayama (USA) 69 70 70 71, Andres Romero (Arg) 70 69 70 71, Antoine Rozner (Fra) 70 67 71 72, Brandon Stone (Rsa) 70 72 70 68, Scott Jamieson 68 65 76 71, Edoardo Molinari (Ita) 70 71 69 70

281 Maximilian Kieffer (Ger) 69 68 73 71, Romain Langasque (Fra) 68 71 70 72, Chris Paisley 67 73 71 70, Hideto Tanihara (Jpn) 69 71 70 71, Rowin Caron (Ned) 68 69 71 73, Paul Dunne 71 69 73 68, Jake McLeod (Aus) 70 68 73 70, Jeunghun Wang (Kor) 72 68 70 71, Jamie Donaldson 70 70 70 71

282 Jeff Winther (Den) 71 69 67 75, Max Orrin 68 69 74 71, Sean Crocker (USA) 70 72 66 74, Thomas Detry (Bel) 71 70 70 71

283 Shubhankar Sharma (Ind) 70 68 70 75, Chris Wood 72 70 70 71, Euan Walker 72 69 69 73, Espen Kofstad (Nor) 72 70 67 74, Eduardo De La Riva (Esp) 69 68 70 76, Johannes Veerman (USA) 69 73 72 69, Gavin Green (Mal) 67 73 72 71, Lee Slattery 74 67 71 71

284 Troy Merritt (USA) 73 65 75 71

285 Sam Horsfield 67 69 74 75, Nick McCarthy 74 68 72 71, Pedro Figueiredo (Por) 70 70 71 74, Yusaku Miyazato (Jpn) 74 65 71 75, Daniel Gavins 70 71 72 72, Nino Bertasio (Ita) 71 68 77 69

286 Soren Kjeldsen (Den) 70 70 72 74, Richie Ramsay 73 69 72 72, Haydn Porteous (Rsa) 68 72 73 73, Ashun Wu (Chn) 69 72 73 72, Stuart Manley 73 69 75 69

287 David Law 72 70 73 72, Trevor Immelman (Rsa) 73 69 73 72, Gaganjeet Bhullar (Ind) 72 69 76 70, (a) Koen Kouwenaar (Ned) 68 70 75 74

288 Gavin Moynihan 70 71 68 79

289 Marc Warren 67 74 70 78, Mikko Korhonen (Fin) 70 69 76 74

290 Anton Karlsson (Swe) 70 69 78 73, Niklas Lemke (Swe) 73 69 72 76, Reinier Saxton (Ned) 69 73 71 77

291 Sebastian Soderberg (Swe) 75 67 74 75, Per Langfors (Swe) 67 73 75 76

294 Sven Maurits (Ned) 71 71 76 76, Christofer Blomstrand (Swe) 74 67 74 79

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