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German Open
Sporting Club Berlin
Berlin, Germany
6th - 9th August 1998

Par 72 Prize Money 700,000

Final Round Report

Maiden European victory for Stephen Allan

Reuters

Berlin, Germany, 9th August 1998 - Australian Stephen Allan snatched a remarkable one-shot victory in the German Open on Sunday, shrugging off a wasp sting and a late triple bogey to capitalise on a collapse by defending champion Ignacio Garrido of Spain.

Allan's three-under-par 69 for an eight-under 280 total included a six on the par three 13th. But six birdies saw him to his maiden European Tour title and the 116,660 first prize.

The 24-year-old Melbourne professional also had to contend with a nasty wasp sting after making his opening birdie on the second hole.

Garrido had looked to be coasting to another victory following his win in Stuttgart last year as he opened up a three-stroke lead after starting two ahead of the field.

But then as Allan, who fell four strokes behind because of his triple bogey, repaired the damage, the man from Madrid suddenly went into free-fall as he came home.

A double-bogey on the 13th began a run of four dropped shots in five holes to leave Garrido having to share second place with two Englishmen, Mark Roe and Steven Webster and Ireland's Padraig Harrington.

Roe and Harrington also erred crucially at the end. A second successive three-putt bogey on the short 17th left Roe a stroke light in the end. Harrington bogeyed the last after hooking his tee shot into deep rough.

Allan was understandably dazed after becoming the seventh first-time winner on the European Tour this year.

"I was unplayable in bushes on the 13th when a gust of wind pulled my ball way left," he said. "So I was pleased to hit straight back with two quick birdies when I could have let things go away from me.

"But I was determined not to let one loose shot spoil my tournament.

"I've had chances before to win and now I feel comfortable that I've proved I can do it."

"I was stung by a wasp on the third tee and it's lucky I'm not allergic to stings. I put a wet towel on my right arm and a doctor gave me some spray to keep the pain down."

Garrido was stung by his own slips and admitted: "The turning point was the double-bogey at 13. This game is so tough, things just happen like that.

"I was in control and playing good golf but I missed the green on the left and had an impossible lie. Then I three-putted the next and lost my lead. At the 17th my ball rolled into a bunker at the last minute and I had another bad lie. It was hard to come back then.

"But it was a good week even if I'm annoyed to lose because I seem to have got my game back."

Garrido had been lucky to find his ball on the 11th when he also got a free-drop as playing partner Roe stood on it, but there was no luck for Roe, who missed a two-foot putt on 17 to deny himself a playoff.

Garrido missed the prize-giving after rushing off to catch a plane to America to start his preparations for the U.S. PGA.

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