BMW International Open: Ernie Els leads from start to finish to win in Munich
Last Updated: 23/06/13 5:56pm
Ernie Els: Birdied the last to clinch victory
Ernie Els shot a third straight round of 69 to claim a one-shot victory in the BMW International Open in Munich, just a few weeks before he defends his Open title at Muirfield.
The South African veteran became the oldest-ever winner of this event at the age of 43, having led for most of the tournament after opening with a brilliant nine-under-par round of 63.
He finished on 18-under, a shot clear of Denmark's Thomas Bjorn, who was left to rue an extremely costly double-bogey on the 14th.
Bjorn made the best start among the leaders, hitting the front with three birdies in a row from the third, but he then made a six on the par-five 11th, although he hit back with an immediate birdie at 12.
That left him tied for the lead at 17-under with Els, who had birdied five, six and eight but had also dropped a shot at 11.
Double bogey proves costly
But Bjorn then slipped back with a double-bogey at the par-four 14th and, although he responded with birdies at 16 and 18 to shoot a 69, Els was able to clinch the title by also carding a birdie four at the 18th.
It was a 28th success on the European Tour for four-time Major winner Els, who triumphed in the Open at Royal Lytham & St Annes last summer, his second success in the historic event.
Young French rookie Alexander Levy began the day tied for the lead and went out in 33 but he eventually finished third, a shot behind Bjorn, after four back-nine bogeys meant he had to settle for a round of 71.
Swede Alexander Noren also had a share of the lead at the start of the final day but he made two bogeys and no birdies on the front nine and finished with a 72 to tie for fourth with Austria's Bernd Wiesberger (68) and home hope Martin Kaymer (69).
Sergio Garcia tied for seventh, a shot further back, after a 69, while Sweden's Henrik Stenson (tied for 10th after a 67) and America's Dustin Johnson (tied for 18th after a 66) made progress up the leaderboard after classy final rounds.