There was much drama in Germany over the weekend, when Englishman Nick Dougherty held off overnight leader Retief Goosen and home favourite Bernhard Langer to win the BMW International Open by one shot over the charging Rafa Echenique.
Dougherty started the day three shots off leader Goosen, but a magnificent eight under round of 64 which included nine birdies coupled with disappointing rounds from both Goosen (71) and Langer (72) meant that Dougherty was able to get distance between him and his main rivals.
However there was late drama in the tournament when Argentinian Rafa Echenique hit a European Tour low score for the back nine with just 27 shots used. This included four birdies, an eagle and an amazing albatross on the par-5 18th.
This meant that Dougherty had to par the last three holes to win the tournament, which he indeed did.
Echenique was overjoyed by his performance even though he got so close to winning his first tournament. “It’s fantastic,” he said, “I have a great sensation. I played really good, really good for four days.
While Dougherty will be even happier with his win, as it now means it secures him a spot at the World Golf Championships – Bridgestone Invitational, World Golf Championships – HSBC Champions, the Mercedes-Benz Championship and perhaps most significantly The Open Championship at Turnberry next month.
“To go and beat two Major champions you’re playing with and fend off a very exciting finish from Rafa, that really caught me by surprise a little bit,” Dougherty said of Echenique’s efforts. “I kind of thought I had done the deal once I hit the green on 16. But delighted with what I did and the way I went about my business.”