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Sunday 11 December 2016

Larrazabal: BMW win down to flying start

Pablo Larrazabal
Pablo Larrazabal

Pablo Larrazabal attributed his second BMW International Open title to a flying start as he carded a final-day 66 to see off the challenge of Henrik Stenson in Munich, with Ireland's Michael Hoey having to settle for joint seventh.

Hoey's final round of 70 left him on 13 under par, tied with Sweden's Peter Hanson.

Larrazabal reached the turn in a five-under-par 31 and added a crucial sixth birdie on the 16th to finish 17 under, one shot ahead of the Swede. Stenson fired himself right into the mix with an eagle 11 as well as five birdies in a round of 65, but ultimately had to settle for second place as Larrazabal's nerve held over the closing holes.

The Barcelona-born 32-year-old said: "I knew that I was in a good position, two groups ahead, and I knew that I had to start very fast.

"I had to start with a few birdies in the first holes and I started very well.

"I think I was five under for the front nine and hitting the ball great, as well as I have hit it all year, and my putting was awesome.

"Coming in, it's tough coming in. You have a lot of holes with a lot of trouble, so I knew I needed to put myself in a good position to make birdies. I made birdie on 16, a great shot.

"I had memories from the past - I lost the tournament over there back in 2010, going 19 under par with three to play, and I lost it over there, so I had that in my mind, 'Put it on the green and try to make the putt'. If not, four is a great score in 16."

Of the other Irish, Darren Clarke ended up on nine under after a final round of 69, Shane Lowry carded a 73 to end up seven under, Damien McGrane's 72 meant he finished six under, Peter Lawrie shot 70 to end up two strokes further back, and Kevin Phelan shot 75 to finish two over par.

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