Kaymer triumphs in Paris
Lee Westwood has not won since September 2007 – and for the second time, Martin Kaymer has denied him.
Lee Westwood is still searching for his first victory since his last in September 2007 – and for the second time it was rising German star Martin Kaymer who denied him.
Kaymer today (Sunday) won the French Open Alstom at Le Golf National near Paris with an 18-foot par putt on the first hole of a sudden death play-off after they had tied on 13 under par.
They were three clear of Ian Poulter, who departed absolutely livid and saying he would not be back next year after blaming a press photographer for a title-wrecking shot into water on the 15th.
Westwood, who was runner-up to Kaymer in Abu Dhabi at the start of last year, has now lost three play-offs since his last win.
The former European number one had fired a joint best-of-the-day 65 after charging to the front from four behind at the start of the day, but after both found the right-hand rough after returning to the 18th tee, his nine-iron just failed to carry the lake.
Kaymer had only just made it over, but with Westwood then playing a poor pitch as well from the drop zone and doing no better than a double-bogey six, the 24-year-old, with two putts to win, sank a monstrous 18-footer for victory.
His third European Tour title takes him back into the world’s top 20 and earned him just over £565,000.
Westwood, who took home £376,701, was still pleased with his week’s work.
“A 65 was the score I had in mind,” he said.
“I’ve played well this year without finishing anything off and I struggled in the first three rounds here.
“Then Billy (caddie Billy Foster) gave me a putting tip and I showed quite a lot of bottle down the stretch.”
He packed seven birdies into his first 13 holes, but a bogey six down the long next was to cost him dear ultimately.
Kaymer said: “This is obviously very special for me. I had some good chances, but finally I won it, so it’s good.”
Colin Montgomerie, second on the course last year, is still searching for his first top 10 finish since then.
That dire run looked set to end when he came back from an opening double bogey with seven birdies and stood at nine under – good enough for fourth if he parred yhew hole – but he took six on the 399-yard 15th and bogeyed the last two to drop to 13th.
One place in the Open Championship was up for grabs in the event, but only for somebody non-exempt finishing in the top five – and nobody did.
The English pair of Kenneth Ferrie and Paul Waring came agonisingly close, though, missing out by just one shot.
Ferrie, who made his first halfway cut of the season last week, parred the last nine holes for his 67, but now has to play the Open final qualifying at Kilmarnock Barassie tomorrow and Tuesday.
Waring was in third spot overnight, but managed only a 72.
That was not as bad, though, as Argentina’s Rafa Echenique, who held a one-stroke lead over Kaymer when they resumed.
Echenique was still in the hunt until he collapsed to triple-bogey sevens on both the 15th and 18th. That meant a 77 and joint 13th – and also lifted England’s Danny Willett and Northern Irishman Gareth Maybin into the 10th place they needed to make it into this coming week’s Scottish Open.
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