KLM Open: Home victory for Joost Luiten as he beats Miguel Angel Jimenez in a play-off
Last Updated: 15/09/13 7:09pm
Holland's Joost Luiten delighted the home crowds at Zandvoort as he beat Miguel Angel Jimenez at the first hole of a play-off to win the KLM Open.
Luiten - who was playing in the event for the ninth time - becomes the first Dutchman since Maarten Lafeber in 2003 to win his national Open.
As the final round progressed it developed into a two-way battle between the home favourite and Jimenez with a strong, swirling wind at the Kennemer Golf Club complicating matters.
(GB & Ire unless stated)
-12 J Luiten (Ned)*
-12 MA Jimenez (Spa)
-9 S Dyson
-9 R Fisher
-9 G Havret (Fra)
-9 D McGrane
* Won in a play-off
Click here for collated scores
Both players dropped shots down the stretch but then holed short par-putts at the last to finish at 12-under and send the tournament to extra holes.
After a wayward drive, Jimenez left himself a testing five-footer for par and saw his effort lip out leaving Luiten to complete a solid two-putt par from the middle of the green to claim his third - and undoubtedly most important - European Tour title and the second this season.
Behind the leading duo there was a four-way tie for third with two-time champion Simon Dyson, Ross Fisher, Gregory Havret and Damian McGrane finishing three shots adrift.
Fisher and Dyson looked to have put themselves firmly in contention for victory after fast starts but could never quite close the gap on the leaders.
Fast start for Jimenez
Luiten had started the day with a one-shot lead, but was trailing his Spanish playing partner by the sixth as Jimenez made four early birdies to the Dutchman's two.
Level at 13-under after 12 holes, there was a two-shot swing when the Spaniard holed a lengthy birdie try at 13 and then watched his rival take three to get down from distance.
But Luiten hit straight back with a birdie and was level again as Jimenez failed to get up-and-down from a greenside bunker at 15.
Both men would then drop shots at the short 17th as the tension grew before matching pars down the last ensured a play-off.
Having holed his three-footer for victory, a delighted Luiten told Sky Sports: "He (Jimenez) was tough, he was playing really, really good especially on the front nine and I was struggling a bit. But I just hung in there until the back nine.
"To win it now, I can't believe it yet - it's unbelievable.
"It's pretty big, Maarten (Lafeber) did it in 2003, another Dutch winner will help the game here and hopefully we can create some more winners for this tournament."