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BMW International Open
Golfclub Munchen Nord-Eichenried
Munich, Germany
27th - 30th August 1998

Par 72 Prize Money 850,000

Final Round Report

Russell Claydon is no longer the bridesmaid


Munich, Germany, 30th August 1998 - Burly Briton Russell Claydon shed his 'Mr Runner-Up' label at last on Sunday when he defied home favourite Bernhard Langer to take the BMW International Open title. bmw.gif (2121 bytes)

The 32-year-old Englishman with five European Tour second places and seven altogether in a nine-year career became the Tour's eighth first-time winner this season when he beat fellow Briton Jamie Spence by a stroke at the Nord-Eichenried course.

Claydon, runner-up to Greg Norman in the 1989 Australian Masters as an amateur before turning pro, went past playing partner Langer with a succession of stunning putts on the home stretch to silence the German gallery.

His four-under-par 68 for an 18-under-par 270 total was one better than Spence, who carded 66. Langer's young compatriot Thomas Goegele also edged in front of his role model with a 69 for 272 and third place.

Langer, bidding for his first BMW win to go with his other 10 German titles, had to settle for a share of fourth place a further stroke back with Argentina's Angel Cabrera after dropping two shots over the last five holes for a 71.

Claydon, weighing in at around 115 kgs, relied on a hot putter to take him back into contention after he had slipped from joint first place with Langer overnight to only fifth by the turn.

Birdies on the 11th, 12th, 15th and 17th as he took eight single putts in his last 11 holes, five successively from the eighth, led to his maiden title.

"It's never really bothered me about finishing second every time because I've always tried my hardest," said Claydon, out for six weeks at the start of the season after injuring a knee when falling downstairs at home.

"Sometimes trying your hardest is not enough but it's not a problem which has got to me.

"The key to winning was at the 10th. I thought I'd lost my ball but then found it and then also saved par from 12 feet. It gave me such a lift.

"My putting obviously did it for me and that used to be the weakest part of my game, but it also helped because the pressure was on Bernhard to win in front of his supporters. That took the pressure off me."

Darren Clarke's bid to go past Englishman Lee Westwood for European number one spot ended with a poor putting display for a 72 and 277 for 13th place, but the Northern Irishman's 13,000  ($21,500) prize has taken him to within 43,000 ($71,110) of top place.

The number one for the last five years in Europe, Colin Montgomerie, stayed on after missing the halfway cut on Friday to act as marker for the final round and the Scot gave himself a confidence-booster before going on to the European Masters in Switzerland by shooting a 66.

Former European number one Ian Woosnam, like Montgomerie missing the cut, was informed on Sunday he would be officially disqualifed for signing for an incorrect score after taking an erroneous free-drop at the 17th in the second round.


Final Round Scores

Third Round

Second Round

First Round