European Ryder Cup captain, Padraig Harrington returned a three-under par 69 to grab a season’s best result at the Porsche European Open.
Harrington fired four birdies on his way to a six-under par tally for a tied 12th finish; his best result on this side of the Atlantic this year and matching that of his tied 12th result at the PGA Tour’s Byron Nelson.
Harrington birdied the final hole and took home a healthy cheque worth €33,300 as he looks to make a timely return to form ahead of the crucial period of the European Tour season.
Meanwhile, Gavin Moynihan could only manage a 74 for a three-over tournament total and a distant share of 56th that saw him bank €6,600.
Ballymoney’s Michael Hoey took home €4,200 after a bitterly disappointing closing round of 77 that resigned him to a plus-nine total in Hamburg.
Paul Casey dedicated an emotional 14th European Tour title to the late Gordon Brand Jnr after securing his first victory in Europe in five years in Germany.
The 42-year-old, who last won on European soil at the KLM Open in 2014, carded a flawless six under par final round of 66 to finish one stroke ahead of Robert MacIntyre, Matthias Schwab and Bernd Ritthammer at Green Eagle Golf Courses.
“I’ll be dedicating this to Gordon Brand Jnr, without question. This is an incredibly prestigious trophy with a lot of history to it on the European Tour. I’m over the moon and so happy to be Porsche European Open champion.
“I volunteered at this event at Walton Heath in 1991 – as a standard bearer – walking around the golf course. Walton Heath is not far from where I grew up as a kid, I never thought I’d be sitting here with the trophy, which is very, very cool. I’ve been lucky to win at Wentworth, and to win this one feels very special. We had some great players in the field, and the young players pushed us older guys right to the end.
“I’d been away from the Tour for a few years, since then I’ve had a couple of wins in the US. The Ryder Cup last year is part of the highlight package. I feel good about that – age is just a number. I feel as fit at 42 as I’ve ever felt. I have an understanding of my golf game and a lot of enthusiasm. I love working hard for it and the quest of being as good as I can be.”
Casey dedicated the win to two-time European Open champion Gordon Brand Jnr, whose funeral will be held tomorrow after passing away last month at the age of 60.
The Englishman started the final round one stroke behind MacIntyre and Ritthammer but pulled clear as he carded his fifth and sixth birdies on the 16th and 17th holes on the Porsche Nord Course.
Bernd Wiesberger, hunting his third win of the season, set the early clubhouse lead on 12 under par after a course record-breaking round of 64, eight under par – eventually settling for fifth place.
Schwab eagled the last to move to 13 under par and was joined by MacIntyre and Ritthammer on that number in second place. It is MacIntyre’s third runner-up finish in his rookie season, while both Schwab and Ritthammer recorded their best results of their careers thus far on the European Tour.
“It’s been brilliant,” said MacIntyre. “Obviously disappointed in the end, but if someone had given me that in the last round I thought it would have been enough, but it just wasn’t to be.”
“I didn’t really know where I was walking up 15, I saw Paul was holing putts. I had to ask one of the camera crew where we were. It’s a learning experience again, it’s my third second place this year – we’re getting closer and closer but can’t seem to get over that line yet.”
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