England’s Danny Willett claimed his first European Tour title at the BMW International Open on Sunday, beating Australia’s Marcus Fraser on the fourth hole of a play-off.
Overnight leader Willett had been three clear after eight holes of the final round, but saw his lead cut after bogeys at the ninth, 11th and 15th, and finished on 73 to be 11-under for the tournament and tied with Fraser.
However, he held his nerve on the fourth hole of the sudden-death play-off when he tapped in after Fraser had three-putted. Joint-third, one behind were Ireland’s Paul McGinley, Spaniard Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano and England’s Chris Wood.
“It’s amazing,” said the former Walker Cup star, who had 19 top-10 finishes to his name going into this tournament.
“It was a tough day — it was brutal, with the wind whipping and it was raining. Marcus had a great round today and I hung in there nicely. Hopefully I gave people a good show,” Willet said.
“This week has been strange, I’ve been working really hard with support from my family and my girlfriend. I’ve had some ups and downs in the last 18 months, but I’m injury-free now and back to playing well and I’d like to thank everyone for supporting me,” he added.
Fraser, looking for his third European Tour title, was left to regret straying down the right on the 18th in regulation play as he took three to reach the green.
“It was good fun,” the 33-year-old said. “Danny is such a great guy and he’s an awesome player — it’s the first of many tournaments for him, that’s for sure. It was nice to have a chance, but unfortunately I couldn’t do it.”
“I’ve got to be pleased with the week. I played really well, three out of the four days and managed to make a few putts. It’s just the way this game goes sometimes, you have to take it on the chin and get ready for the next week,” Fraser added.