McGinley rues poor Saturday as Willett wins

 

AFTER A best-of-the-day 66, Paul McGinley came joint third at the BMW International Open in wet and windy Cologne yesterday, along with Spain’s Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (69) and England’s Chris Wood, who bogeyed the short 17th when sharing the lead.

England’s Danny Willett grabbed his first European Tour win, beating Australian Marcus Fraser at the fourth hole of a play-off.

For McGinley, it was a third top-seven finish in his last four starts, and a cheque for just over €100,000, but he was left to rue his Saturday 77 after being joint second at halfway.

“Obviously there’s a gaping thing in the week, and I’ve got to give some thought to why I lost my speed on the greens and my confidence,” said the Dubliner.

“I had five three-putts – I don’t think I’ve ever had that in my life – but it was a good reaction and I’m really looking forward to this week’s Irish Open.

“Royal Portrush is one of my favourite courses in the world and I’ve played it a lot over the years.”

Willett was three clear after eight holes of the final round, but fell one behind after bogeys at the ninth, 11th and 15th.

Fraser dropped a shot at the difficult 456-yard last, however, and Willett got away with a bad drive close to the trees for a par to tie on the 11 under par mark of 277. They were round in 71 and 73 respectively.

They then played the 18th on four more occasions. Both parred it the first time after Fraser holed from 12 feet, bogeyed it next, with Willett missing from four feet and parred it next before it was finally settled.

Willett was over the green and almost chipped in, then Fraser lipped out from 30 feet and missed his four-footer coming back.

Fernandez-Castano is now back in the last automatic qualifying place for the Ryder Cup, edging Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts down to the 11th thanks to a 15-foot birdie putt on the 18th.

Scot Paul Lawrie, third in the cup standings, finished joint 23rd along with 54-year-old Bernhard Langer, whose compatriot Marcel Siem would have been in the play-off if he had made a closing 22-footer.

Instead he three-putted it and slipped to joint sixth with Swede Henrik Stenson.

Meathman Damien McGrane carded six birdies in his final round, but a run of bogey, bogey, double bogey from the seventh hole saw him sign for a level-par 72 to finish the tournament on one under.

Simon Thornton had three birdies and four bogeys in a final round 73 that saw him finish the tournament on two over.

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