Muntz gains first Dutch win on Tour

 

Not even the round of the day was enough to give Ian Woosnam victory in the Qatar Masters in Doha. The title - and £79,063 first prize - went instead to Rolf Muntz, making him the first Dutchman to win on the European tour since its formation nearly 30 years ago.

Six shots clear at the start of the final round and nine ahead with 14 to play, a level par 72 was sufficient to give the 1990 British amateur champion the crown by five.

Considering the weather all week and the fierce rough, Muntz's eight under par aggregate of 280 was every bit as impressive as Paul Lawrie's 20 under winning score last year.

Woosnam was the only other player to finish under par, his superb closing 68 lifting him four strokes clear of third-placed pair Eduardo Romero, of Argentina, and Australian Stephen Leaney.

Dubliner Paul McGinley, joint third when play resumed, slipped to seventh with a 75.

Woosnam, looking forward to the Players' Championship starting in Florida on Thursday week and then the Masters two weeks later, had only one bogey in the last 35 holes.

It came at a crucial time. Muntz seemed to be wobbling when he had a hat-trick of bogeys from the fifth, but Woosnam, reducing his arrears to five with birdies at the third and 10th, missed the green at the short 13th and failed to get up and down.

Muntz effectively killed off any threat by pitching to six feet on the 390-yard 12th. He parred the next five and finished with a two-putt birdie at the long 18th.

Ranked outside the world's top 200 entering the tournament, 30-year-old Muntz becomes the sixth first-time winner this season, following Michael Campbell, Anthony Wall, Lucas Parsons, Yeh Wei-tze and Gary Orr.

His victory follows two second places - in the 1995 Austrian Open and last August's Scottish PGA championship at Gleneagles.

This season started with four missed cuts, but he said: "I didn't get frustrated this time. In previous years I've panicked when I've had a bad run, but I'm not surprised to have won now.

"Although I've had to go back to the qualifying school and have struggled to keep my card a couple of times, I've never doubted that I was good enough to win."

Muntz even took a leaf out of Colin Montgomerie's book, arriving less than an hour before his tee-off time for each round.