Dyson beats the big guns

Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood each came close, but it was Simon Dyson who emerged victorious at the KLM Open.

Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood each came close, but it was Simon Dyson who emerged victorious at the KLM Open on Sunday.

It was the Englishman’s third victory at the event in six years as he triumphed by one shot at Hilversumsche in The Netherlands after a superb final-round 66 that featured four birdies in his final seven holes.

The win has also taken him into the top 30 in the world for the first time in his career and is his second win on Tour in seven weeks, his other coming at the Irish Open back in July.

Fellow countryman David Lynn finished second after a 68, one shot back on 11 under, while a 67 from Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy saw him finish in third place a further shot back and retake the World No 3 spot.

World No 2 Lee Westwood had to settle for a fifth place finish after a 66, one shot behind Scotland’s Gary Orr.

Dyson posted his 66 to finish on 12 under and then had to wait to see if it would be enough. Both Lynn and Orr were two shots off his lead, and had a couple of holes each to perhaps do something about that, though it was not to be.

The duo could not birdie the 17th and it meant they would need an eagle on the par-five last to force a play-off. Lynn came closest and gave himself a lengthy 30-foot putt to make up the two-shot deficit, but it ran wide. Orr, meanwhile, ran into trouble off the tee and eventually made six.

Dyson joins an elite list of three-time winners of the KLM Open that includes Bernhard Langer and Seve Ballesteros.

“I’m absolutely delighted to be on the same trophy as names like those two,” he said.

“It’s something special, a dream come true really. To win any title once is tough, but to win it three times is a fantastic feeling.

“I started a bit shakily – my timing was just a little bit off – but after my bogey on 11 I played pretty flawless golf.”

From the 12th he birdied three in a row, and then put the icing on the cake with a birdie four at the last, making it that extra bit harder for those behind him.

For Dyson, the Ryder Cup is now a very real target to work towards, and only Dane Thomas Bjorn, himself a recent two-time winner, is currently ahead of him in the standings.

US Open champ McIlroy started the strongest on Sunday, and a hat-trick of birdies from the second seemd to indicate that he was going to be the one to do the job.

Unfortunately, he played his last 12 holes in one over par, and even two closing birdies proved too little too late.

The 22-year-old is still seeking his first professional win on European soil and wasn’t really satisfied with his second third place finish in two weeks – his other coming seven days ago at the European Masters.

“It’s not been a bad two weeks,” he said.

“To be able to give myself a chance when I didn’t have my best stuff I was quite pleased, but I should have made more of that fast start.”