A final round of 67 was enough to secure a comfortable win for Sweden’s Robert Karlsson in the 2006 Deutshe Bank Players Championship at Gut Kaden in Germany on Sunday. Karlsson was even afforded the luxury of being able to lose a ball on the final hole, but a double bogey six there was not as costly as it could have been – by the eighteenth he had all but guaranteed the win, the margin of which was eventually four shots as he finished the tournament on -25.
Karlsson entered the final round with a two stroke advantage, and after he birdied the par-5 third the chasing pack never got any closer. The Swede then added six more birdies to his card, thus rendering his final-hole lapse as largely irrelevant. England’s Lee Westwood, who led the tournament after round one following his course record 63, finished tied for second place with South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel on -21. Schwartzel’s compatriot Retief Goosen was one of four players one shot further adrift.
Karlsson is trying to concentrate on his game rather than the Ryder Cup, and it is clear that the hearbreak he endured on the eve of the 1999 renewal still haunts him. Karlsson finished in eleventh place on the 1999 points list, and he was left deeply disappointed when captain Mark James controversially overlooked him for a wild card place.
“Come September I will think about the Ryder Cup – not before,” said the 36 year-old after registering his seventh career win on the European Tour.
“It would be fantastic to be in the team but that’s a bonus for playing well. It’s never easy to win but this week my focus was fantastic. I was happy with how I felt on the course. I felt very stable, even when Lee got a bit closer I kept doing my thing.”