Stenson stuns with winning playoff eagle

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Tournament: BMW International Open
Venue: Golfclub Munchen Nord-Eichenried, Munich, Germany
Winner Henrik Stenson

Swede Henrik Stenson claimed a stunning victory at the BMW International Open in Munich on Sunday, firing a sensational eagle at the first hole of a sudden-death play-off to edge out two of the game’s biggest names, Retief Goosen and Padraig Harrington.
And this just 19 days before he is set to tee-off in his first-ever Ryder Cup at the K Club.
On a final day when five members of the European team for the K Club finished in the top seven, the big-hitting 30-year-old from Gothenburg closed with a birdie to snatch a three-way tie with Harrington and Goosen with a 15-under 273 tournament total and force his way into the play-off.
On the eventful day when fellow Dubliner Paul McGinley hung on to his Ryder Cup place along with Jose Maria Olazabal, Harrington missed a 12-foot birdie chance to win on the par five 18th.
And although he did birdie the hole on his return to it, as did Goosen, he was left with the 29th runners-up finish of his career because of Stenson’s brilliant eagle-making five-iron approach to four feet when it mattered most.
The £225,356 victory did owe a little to luck, though. Stenson’s play-off approach landing in the left-hand rough, but instead of staying out there, it kicked on to the green and rolled close to the flag at a hole he also eagled in his third round on Saturday.
“I tugged it a little bit, but sometimes you need the right bounces,” he said. “It feels great and I’m very happy – it’s been a while since I was up in contention.”
Overnight leader and defending champion David Howell finished joint fourth with another Swede, Martin Erlandsson, after missing a three-footer on the final green that would have put him into sudden death as well.
Order of Merit leader Howell will want to forget that as quickly as possible – certainly before the Americans arrive.
Luke Donald and Colin Montgomerie were joint sixth, Montgomerie after taking a private jet on Saturday night for a stage appearance with the Ryder Cup at the Robbie Williams concert in Glasgow.
McGinley and Olazabal had been in danger of dropping out of the team, McGinley because he missed the cut and Olazabal because he controversially chose to take the week off.
But, one by one, the players who could have displaced them failed to achieve their goals.
Come the final round in Germany only Paul Broadhurst and Thomas Bjorn had a chance. They needed third and first place respectively, but finished 59th and 13th. Broadhurst knew he had no chance of a wild card, but although Darren Clarke and Lee Westwood were the favourites for them the Dane remained hopeful.
So McGinley and Olazabal became the ninth and 10th qualifiers, with European captain Ian Woosnam then adding his two picks 90 minutes later.
McGinley, who has slipped from fourth to 10th in the table this year before finishing just above Olazabal, said from his home: “It’s a huge relief. I’ve been under a great deal of pressure and I feel a great weight has been lifted.
“Now I can get ready for one of the biggest weeks in my life without worrying or having to look over my shoulder.
“It’s going to be a fantastic week and I would have hated not to be part of it.”
With Olazabal unavailable for comment it was left to his manager Sergio Gomez to give the 40-year-old’s reaction.
“He is delighted to be in the team – and much more delighted than if he had been a pick,” he stated.
“I spoke to him an hour ago and he said he will do his best to be a very positive element in the team. He does not forget that in the singles in 1993 he was beaten by Raymond Floyd when he was 51.
“Jose still loves the game and keeps himself as fit as possible.”
Montgomerie said on Thursday he was “very surprised” by Olazabal’s decision not to play the final counting event when he was not sure of his place. The Scot was not alone in that and the conversation between them might be interesting when next they meet.
ALL THE FINAL ROUND SCORES
(Gbr and Irl unless stated, par 72):
273 Henrik Stenson (Swe) 71 68 66 68
273 Retief Goosen (RSA) 73 66 67 67, Padraig Harrington 70 70 64 69
274 Martin Erlandsson (Swe) 67 68 69 70, David Howell 67 69 66 72
275 Luke Donald 68 69 71 67, Colin Montgomerie 70 68 66 71
277 Markus Brier (Aut) 71 69 70 67, Alexandre Rocha (Bra) 73 67 70 67, Robert-Jan Derksen (Ned) 69 68 70 70, Peter Gustafsson (Swe) 72 71 64 70, Simon Wakefield 69 69 68 71
278 Thomas Bjorn (Den) 71 69 71 67, Bernhard Langer (Ger) 70 69 71 68, Paul Casey 70 67 71 70, Marcel Siem (Ger) 68 70 70 70, David Lynn 69 70 67 72
279 Christian Cevaer (Fra) 73 69 68 69, Anthony Wall 72 71 67 69, Garry Houston 67 70 72 70, Marc Cayeux (Zim) 71 66 72 70, Ricardo Gonzalez (Arg) 69 69 70 71, Soren Hansen (Den) 70 66 71 72, Bradley Dredge 68 70 69 72
280 Soren Kjeldsen (Den) 72 71 66 71, Alejandro Canizares (Spa) 71 65 71 73, Peter Hedblom (Swe) 68 72 66 74
281 Marc Warren 73 68 72 68, Graeme Storm 70 72 70 69, Andres Romero (Arg) 69 74 69 69, Fredrik Widmark (Swe) 69 69 73 70, Ian Garbutt 70 72 69 70, Stephen Gallacher 72 68 69 72, Peter Hanson (Swe) 71 70 67 73, Lee Westwood 68 71 68 74, Peter O’Malley (Aus) 71 68 67 75
282 David Drysdale 68 71 73 70, Sam Little 71 69 71 71, Jarrod Moseley (Aus) 71 71 69 71, Jose-Filipe Lima (Por) 68 72 70 72, Damien McGrane 69 68 69 76
283 David Bransdon (Aus) 70 69 77 67, Gary Evans 67 73 75 68, Niclas Fasth (Swe) 70 70 72 71, James Kingston (Rsa) 70 71 71 71, Alessandro Tadini (Ita) 70 70 68 75
284 Darren Fichardt (Rsa) 69 72 71 72, Miguel Angel Jimenez (Spa) 71 70 71 72, David Carter 73 69 70 72, Simon Khan 70 69 66 79
285 Leif Westerberg (Swe) 70 73 73 69, Phillip Archer 71 71 73 70, Gregory Havret (Fra) 73 70 72 70, Marcus Fraser (Aus) 72 71 72 70, Mattias Eliasson (Swe) 70 66 78 71, Massimo Scarpa (Ita) 72 70 72 71, Jean Van de Velde (Fra) 73 68 72 72, Steven Jeppesen (Swe) 70 71 67 77
286 Brett Rumford (Aus) 72 68 76 70, Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel) 70 68 75 73, Richard Finch 74 69 68 75, Matthew Millar (Aus) 68 70 72 76, Miles Tunnicliff 70 70 70 76, Paul Broadhurst 72 71 67 76
287 Raphael Jacquelin (Fra) 73 70 70 74, Joakim Backstrom (Swe) 73 68 71 75
288 Andrew Marshall 72 71 73 72
289 Scott Drummond 74 69 74 72, Joakim Haeggman (Swe) 70 71 73 75, Johan Edfors (Swe) 72 69 72 76
291 Wolfgang Huget (Ger) 72 70 73 76, Emanuele Canonica (Ita) 70 73 71 77
292 Daniel Vancsik (Arg) 71 70 74 77
295 Jorge Benedetti (Col) 71 72 70 82

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