Thriston Lawrence (RSA) wins at Golfclub München Eichenried after a “rollercoaster ride” on Sunday.
Four days of top-class golf at the 34th BMW International Open ended with a tense and dramatic final round. It was a brilliant birdie on the 17th, which had proven to be a tough hole on the last day, that saw Thirston Lawrence take a decisive one-shot lead and move ahead of yesterday’s leader Joost Luiten (NED).
The 26-year-old South African hit rounds of 71, 69, 66 and 69 on his way to a final score of 13 under par (275 shots) and his fourth title on the DP World Tour.
Lawrence started his final round on Sunday four shots behind Luiten, and endured a “rollercoaster ride” over the course of the day: he carded six birdies on the first 13 holes – but also five bogies. However, of the leading group, it was the South African who finished strongest with two birdies on the 15th and 17th holes. His Dutch rival, on the other hand, could do no better than one birdie and three bogies, meaning he trailed Lawrence by one shot as he arrived at the 18th tee. An aggressive drive over the water came up just short, so the 37-year-old could only lay up with his second shot. Despite this, he still found himself with a long birdie putt to take the tournament into a play-off. The putt from the fringe missed the hole by mere millimetres – and Lawrence emerged victorious.
Lawrence said: “I saw that Joost Luiten was not going that well, and that I had played the last four holes a few shots under par on the previous days. The idea was to stick to the game plan and enjoy playing at the same time. I am very proud that I could stay calm.
“I did not know that Ernie Els was the only South African to have won the BMW International Open. I feel very honoured. He was my idol and his junior foundation really supported me.”
Tied in third place on 11 under par were Adrian Meronk (POL), Rikuya Hoshino (JPN), Daniel Hillier (NZL) and Max Kieffer, who was the top German in the field.
The best-placed amateur was Jonas Baumgartner. The 20-year-old from GC Hösel finished tied in 52nd place on +1 (289 shots).
Marcel Schneider (-6, T14), Max Schmitt, Matti Schmid (both -5, T18), Thomas Rosenmüller (-4, T26), Hurly Long (-2, T38), Velten Meyer (Even Par, T47), Marc Hammer (+2, T59), Jannik de Bruyn, Philipp Mejow (both +3, T62), Michael Hirmer (+4, T67) and Marcel Siem (+7, T73) completed the contingent of 13 homegrown players who successfully made the cut. In total, a record 21 German players – including two amateurs – teed off at the 34th BMW International Open.
Ilka Horstmeier, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, People and Real Estate, Labour Relations Director, said: “Congratulations to Thriston Lawrence on his victory at the 34th BMW International Open. The conditions on the Championship Course were very challenging at times, which makes his performance all the more impressive.
“We have had a fantastic tournament week, with three holes-in-one and 59 eagles, which allowed us to raise 99,000 Euro for ‘Eagles for Education’. This will help to achieve more equal opportunity and greater educational equality.”