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Golf Today > Tour Schedules > 2009 > European Tour > BMW International Open > Round 4


Nick Dougherty clinches title in close finish

Nick Dougherty held off a rampaging Rafa Echenique of Argentina to win the BMW International Open title on Sunday, his third on the European Tour.

Dougherty produced a blistering finale, an eight-under-par 64 for a 22-under-par 266 four-round total. That left him a stroke better than Echenique, whose albatross on 18 saw him home in 27 strokes for a magnificent 62.

A huge crowd had turned up in hope of seeing their home favourite, 51-year-old Bernhard Langer, become the oldest winner on the European Tour.

But they were disappointed, as was the leader for the first three rounds, South African double U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen (71), who had to settle for third place, four behind Dougherty on 270. Langer slipped to 273 after a closing 72.

Starting the day three strokes behind Goosen, Dougherty quickly caught up with three opening birdies. When Goosen bogeyed the fourth Dougherty led on his own.

While Goosen’s eagle on the ninth briefly put him level with Dougherty, the 27-year-old Englishman took control by picking up four shots in six holes after the turn.

With Goosen faltering and Langer unable to find his best form, Echenique, rifling in a three-iron approach from 243 yards on the final hole, put Dougherty under pressure in the end.

“I’ve had a few chances to win and things have gone against me but by the 15th I told myself this is my time,” the winner told reporters.

“Then I looked at the scoreboard and realised what Rafa had done and thought ‘oh my goodness.’ I was delighted to get the job done but all credit to him. Ten-under-par is some score.”

As well as $392,000 cheque, Dougherty’s victory earned him a start in next month’s British Open at Turnberry by way of a separate money-list for the major which began in early May.

Neither Echenique’s nine-under 27, which would have equalled the tour’s best for nine holes, nor his 62, which would have equalled the course record, counted because preferred-lies were in operation.

A closing bogey left Langer, lying second overnight, in only tied ninth place.

While he returns to the Champions Tour, on which he has won seven times, Langer vowed to make his 20th attempt at winning the BMW title next year at the age of 52.

“If I’m fit and healthy I’ll be back. This course suits me,” Langer said.


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