Gut Larchenhof, Germany
Sep 11-14, purse €2,000,000, par 72
Sweden’s Robert Karlsson put the perfect finishing touches to his Ryder Cup preparations by winning the Mercedes-Benz Championship in Cologne, Germany. Karlsson ended the week on 13 under par to beat Italy’s Francesco Molinari by two strokes.
The Swede started the day three strokes clear and, at one point, had stretched that lead to six. But when Molinari birdied four holes in a row from the 12th, and Karlsson made bogey at the 16th, the lead was cut to just two. Karlsson held his nerve however and, after Molinari narrowly missed birdie chances at the 17th and 18th holes, the two shot gap remained intact.
Despite recording nine top ten finishes this season, it was the six foot five inch Swede’s first victory of the year and his first on the European Tour since the Deutsche Bank Championship of 2006. Karlsson climbs to second on the European Tour Order of Merit and now lies just €355,000 behind Padraig Harrington.
“It’s very nice to win, a great relief and it would have felt a bit strange not to win this season because I’ve been playing so well.” He said. “It got closer than necessary maybe but I felt there was not much more I could do. All credit to Francesco, he played fantastic the last eight or nine holes.”
Karlsson was, understandably, pleased by the form he’s showing just a week ahead of the Ryder Cup.
“Hopefully Nick will be delighted.” He said. “It was a pretty good week for all of us.”
The other Ryder Cup team members in the field also performed well – Miguel Angel Jimenez fired two excellent rounds of 68 and 66 over the weekend to lift himself into a tie for third place; Soren Hansen enjoyed a solid week to finish in a tie for eighth while Northern Ireland’s Graeme Mcdowell fired four steady rounds to end the week tied 16th.
1 Robert Karlsson (Swe) 67 69 68 71 275 €320,000
2 Francesco Molinari (Ita) 71 71 65 70 277 €220,000
T3 Michael Campbell (Nzl) 71 70 68 70 279 €101,517
T3 Ross Fisher (Eng) 68 73 68 70 279 €101,517
T3 Miguel Angel Jimenez (Esp) 72 73 68 66 279 €101,517
T6 Richard Finch (Eng) 66 73 70 72 281 €64,000
T6 Jose Manuel Lara (Esp) 73 69 67 72 281 €64,000
T8 Soren Hansen (Den) 73 67 73 69 282 €44,667
T8 Martin Kaymer (Ger) 74 70 68 70 282 €44,667
T8 Marcel Siem (Ger) 72 68 72 70 282 €44,667
Key Moment: Molinari leaves a birdie putt agonisingly short on the 17th green.
Note: Players in bold signifies Titleist ball usage