Wed, 23 Oct 2019

Garcia holds on to win Dutch Open

News24
16 Sep 2019, 04:42 GMT+10

Amsterdam - Sergio Garcia sealed his first victory of the season on Sunday by beating Danish teenager Nicolai Hojgaard by one shot to win the Dutch Open in Amsterdam.

The 18-year-old Hojgaard put the pressure on Garcia by carding a four-under-par final round of 68 to set a clubhouse lead of 17-under.

But the experienced Spaniard recovered from a 17th-hole bogey by safely parring the last to sign for a 69 and an 18-under total.

"I played well all week under pressure," said world number 43 Garcia.

"It wasn't easy, there were a couple of tough moments today but I hung on tough, that's the most important thing."

It was former Masters champion Garcia's first title since winning last year's Andalucia Valderrama Masters, and was his 16th triumph on the European Tour.

"There was obviously a little bit of nerves here and there. Today wasn't easy," added the 39-year-old who became the seventh Spanish winner of the tournament, joining a list that includes Seve Ballesteros and Jose Maria Olazabal.

"It means a lot to be part of that amazing group, to be there with Seve...

"It's special. Every one is special but this one is special because my wife and my daughter are here, some of my family are here."

Hojgaard had to settle for second place after a stunning week.

Born in 2001, the Dane was highly regarded as an amateur, but his previous best effort in five European Tour appearances was tied-76th.

The world number 1 002 made a mockery of his ranking, though, and would have been dreaming of an incredible victory when he was standing over a 15-foot eagle putt on the 18th hole, only to see it slide narrowly past the left edge.

"It was fun out there. I got a good start and everything came down to one putt, so I'm very proud of being in the chance of getting a playoff with Sergio," said Hojgaard.

"This week means I'm playing European Tour tournaments next year. I've been in between with everything so I'm hopefully on my way up there so that would mean a lot."

The 30th-ranked Englishman Matt Wallace finished two strokes behind Hojgaard in third place, with James Morrison fourth.

Callum Shinkwin, who started the day tied for the lead with Garcia, struggled to a 74 to finish in fifth on 13-under.

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