José Manuel Lara of Spain beat England’s David Lynn at the first hole of a sudden-death playoff to secure victory in the Austrian GolfOpen at the Diamond Country Club near Vienna.

Lara played an excellent final round of 64 to finish the week on 17-under-par. He holed a snaking putt across the 18th green that proved to be crucial.

Almost immediately after Lara had holed that birdie effort, Lynn made a fantastic putt to save par back on the 17th green and remain at 17-under-par. The Englishman then holed another good putt for par on the final hole to tie Lara’s closing total.

The pair made their way back to play the testing 18th again, this time in a sudden-death playoff. Lynn pushed his tee shot as he had in regulation play, but on this occasion it came to rest in an awkward position in the rough on the edge of a bunker. Lara fired down the fairway, from where he played a solid shot to the centre of the green. Lynn could only hack out back to the fairway and then pitch on for three.

Lara’s birdie putt ended three feet from the cup and, when Lynn missed his par effort, it was left to the Spaniard to calmly roll his ball home. In claiming the title he secured his playing privileges for 2011, something that looked highly unlikely two weeks ago after a run of nine successive missed cuts.

“I saved my card today. I’ve been struggling in the last few years and I’ve missed too many cuts,” he said. “It’s a great time for me. All the guys supporting me, the Spaniards, I’m really happy now.”

Although disappointed, Lynn was able to take positives from the week.

“Yesterday’s 64 was the highlight of the week and still shooting 68 today wasn’t enough.” He said. “Second place is still a good finish so I can take heart from that and I’ve played some great golf this week. It’s just disappointing it hasn’t come off in the end.”

Young Englishman Danny Willett finished with three straight bogeys to drop out of contention for the title. He ended in a tie for third with Alexander Noren of Sweden and Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell. It was a good performance from the US Open Champion who was using the tournament as preparation for the Ryder Cup in two weeks.

Austrian Golf Open presented by Botarin
Diamond Country Club, Austria
September 16-19, purse €750,000, par 72

1   José Manuel Lara (Esp)   66   71   70   64   271   €125,000

2   David Lynn (Eng)      68   71   64   68   271   €83,330
T3   Graeme McDowell (NIR) 69   68   68   69   274   €38,750
T3   Alexander Noren (Swe)   69   70   67   68   274   €38,750
T3   Danny Willett (Eng)   69   69   65   71   274   €38,750
T6   Chris Gane (Eng)      69   70   66   70   275   €24,375
T6   Damien McGrane (Ire)   67   76   67   65   275   €24,375
8   Clodomio Carranza (Arg) 68   70   68   70   276   €24,375
T9   Luis Claverie (Esp)   71   71   66   69   277   €15,900
T9   Raphael Jacquelin (Fra)   69   69   70   69   277   €15,900

Note: Player in bold signifies Titleist ball usage only