Fabrizio Zanotti of Paraguay came through a four-man playoff to secure his maiden European Tour victory in the BMW International Open at Golf Club Gut Lärchenhof near Cologne in Germany.

Fabrizio Zanotti of Paraguay came through a four-man playoff to secure his maiden European Tour victory in the BMW International Open at Golf Club Gut Lärchenhof near Cologne in Germany.

Zanotti claimed victory at the fifth extra hole after Sweden’s Henrik Stenson hit his tee shot into the water at the driveable par-4 17th. Rafael Cabrera-Bello of Spain and France’s Gregory Havret had earlier dropped out, at the fourth and second extra holes respectively.

Zanotti fired a superb closing round of 65 to post a 72-hole total of 19-under-par. That was matched by Gregory Havret who closed with a 66.

Cabrera-Bello produced a scintillating finish to force his way into the playoff. The Spaniard made a birdie two at the 16th then holed a long putt for an eagle two at the 17th, before making another one from distance on the final hole.

Stenson also produced fireworks on the run for home. He came back in just 30 strokes and very nearly won the event outright, but his putt for yet another birdie on the last green came up just a fraction short.

All four playoff protagonists made par at the first extra hole before Havret dropped out at the second when Stenson, Zanotti and Cabrera-Bello all birdied the testing 18th.

Cabrera-Bello fell when he found the water with his approach to the fourth extra hole and Stenson’s hopes also ended in a watery grave when he drove into the water at the fifth extra hole.

Zanotti was the last man standing and the 31-year-old claimed his first victory in 181 starts on the European Tour.

“I was patient. I tried to play shot by shot in the playoff. I’m just very happy,” he said. “I knew today that if I made a good run I’d have a good chance. Today was my day. I’ve been working a lot and trying to build my confidence to get to this moment and finally I’m here.”

Overnight leader Pablo Larrazabal had a disappointing final round of 72 and ended the week in a tie for eighth, two strokes off the pace.

James Heath scored a hole-in-one at the 194-yard 16th. The ace won him a BMW I8.

“It more than triples the highest cheque I’ve ever made,” he said.

BMW International Open
Golf Club Gut Lärchenhof, Cologne, Germany
Jun 26-29, purse €2,000,000, par 72

1    Fabrizio Zanotti (Par)    72    67    65    65    269    €333,330
T2    Henrik Stenson (Swe)    68    68    66    67    269    €149,140
T2    Rafa Cabrera-Bello (Esp) 64    68    70    67    269    €149,140
T2    Gregory Havret (Fra)    71    65    67    66    269    €149,140
T5    Thongchai Jaidee (Tha)    71    66    68    65    270    €71,600
T5    Simon Dyson (Eng)    69    66    69    66    270    €71,600
T5    Jamie Donaldson (Wal)    71    67    65    67    270    €71,600
T8    Danny Willett (Eng)    64    68    71    68    271    €42,900
T8    Emiliano Grillo (Arg)    66    66    70    69    271    €42,900
T8    Thomas Bjorn (Den)    70    66    66    69    271    €42,900
T8    Pablo Larrazabal (Esp)    69    63    67    72    271    €42,900

Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage