Fredrik Andersson Hed of Sweden narrowly hung on to beat England’s David Horsey by two shots and claim his first European Tour victory at the BMW Italian Open.
Andersson Hed took a six shot lead into the final round after firing a superb 63 on Saturday. But a nervous Andersson Hed saw that lead whittled away as Horsey made a charge on the front nine.
When Horsey birdied the 13th hole, his sixth birdie of the day, he moved into a tie at the top of the leaderboard. But the young Englishman immediately gave a shot back at the 14th and when he finished with another bogey, Andersson Hed had a two-shot cushion as he made his way down the par-5 last.
Despite driving into the rough, the Swede found the green in regulation and two putts later had secured his maiden tour title at the 254th time of asking.
“It means a lot to win, both for the rankings and self-confidence. It would have felt even better to have played well today but I was here to be first and now I am first,” he said.
Despite closing with an excellent 68, Horsey was disappointed to let a chance at victory slip through his fingers.
“I got off to a flying start and I didn’t look at a leaderboard until around the 13th when I saw that it was very close,” he said. “I really thought I was in with a good shout and it’s disappointing, but I can take a lot of positives from this week.”
With the win, Andersson-Hed has climbed to 19th on the Race to Dubai standings. Perhaps better than that for the 38-year-old, who’s been to the qualifying school on 14 occasions, will be the knowledge he’s also earned a two-year tour exemption.
England’s Chris Wood finished the week in a tie for third with Peter Gustafsson and Nicolas Colsaerts.
BMW Italian Open
Royal Park I Roveri, Turin
May 6 – 9, purse €1,300,000, par 72
1 Fredrik Andersson Hed (Swe) 70 66 63 73 272 €216,660
2 David Horsey (Eng) 68 71 67 68 274 €144,440
T3 Peter Gustafsson (Swe) 71 69 70 66 276 €67,143
T3 Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel) 70 67 69 70 276 €67,143
T3 Chris Wood (Eng) 71 70 65 70 276 €67,143
6 Ignacio Garrido (Esp) 70 67 70 70 277 €45,500
T7 Stephen Dodd (Wal) 68 74 69 67 278 €33,540
T7 Graeme Storm (Eng) 67 73 69 69 278 €33,540
T7 Hennie Otto (RSA) 68 69 71 70 278 €33,540