Zanotti makes history

European Tour

Fabrizio Zanotti survived a four-way playoff to win the BMW International Open in Cologne on Sunday.

In doing so, Zanotti made history as he became the first Paraguayan to win on the European Tour.

A superb final round of 65 that included seven birdies and no drop shots was enough to earn Zanotti a place at the top of a congested leader board.

Tied with Spaniard Rafa Cabrera-Bello, world number two Henrik Stenson and Gregory Harvet of France, Zabnotti had his work cut out for him.

The foursome was tied on 19 under for the tournament, forcing a playoff. The Frenchman would drop out on the second playoff hole as the others all made birdies.

Cabrero-Bello was the next casualty on the fourth when his approach shot found the water, leaving Zanotti to square-off against the tall Swede on the fifth extra hole.

Stenson then pitched into the bunker and conceded to Zonatti, handing him his maiden win of the tour.

“I was patient. I tried to play shot-by-shot in the play-off,” said the 31-year-old, who finished 14th at the recent Irish Open.

I’m just very happy. I’ve really been playing very good the last few weeks so I knew today that if I make a good round I would have a good chance.

“Maybe today was my day. I’ve been working a lot and trying to build my confidence to get to this moment and finally I’m here.”

Meanwhile, overnight leader Pablo Larrazabal went around in 72 to finish two shots shy of the leaders and the trio of Thongchai Jaidee, Simon Dyson and Jamie Donaldson would finish one stroke off the lead.

James Heath carded an ace on the 194 yard 16th, which earned him a brand new BMW i8. The 21-year-old admitted it was his biggest prize so far on tour.

“It more than triples the highest cheque I’ve ever made,” quipped the Englishman.

“It looks fantastic. It’s certainly an upgrade from my previous vehicle.”

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