Padraig Harrington grabbed a top-15 finish as Sergio Garcia secured his 16th European Tour title following a one-shot victory on his debut at the 100th edition of the KLM Open.
The European Ryder Cup Captain fired a three-under par 69, his second round in the 60’s over a productive weekend in Amsterdam to tie 15th at nine-under par.
The result followed Harrington’s tie for 12th last week at the European Open and saw the three-time Major Champion collect €26,533 in another confidence boosting week ahead of Thursday’s starting BMW Championship at Wentworth.
However, the day belonged to the Spaniard Garcia who endured a mixed front nine where he was leading by two at the fifth, only to be trailing playing partner Callum Shinkwin by one shot at the seventh following back to back bogeys at The International.
However, a double bogey at the tenth by the Englishman handed Garcia the initiative and the 39-year-old used his experience to hold off the chasing pack by a single stroke with an 18-under par total in front of his very proud family.
“It was honestly amazing to have my brother, Angie my wife and little Azalea, it’s very special,” said Garcia. “Amazing, we had a great week and great to win again.
“I played well all week under pressure. It wasn’t easy, there were a couple of tough moments today but I hung on tough, that’s the most important thing.
“There was obviously a little bit of nerves here and there. Today wasn’t easy, it was quite breezy and was blowing in a different direction again so it wasn’t playing easy at all, but I played nicely again. A couple of mistakes here and there but other than that, I felt like I played really well and that’s why I’m standing here I guess.”
Danish rising star Nicolai Højgaard, making just his seventh European Tour start, surged into contention and was briefly joint leader with four holes remaining, but came up just short in sole second.
Matt Wallace was third at 15 under, while fellow Englishman James Morrison was one shot further back as Garcia became the first Spanish winner of the KLM Open since Gonzalo Fernández-Castaño in 2005.
Rikard Karlberg was one shot further back with fellow Swede Joakim Lagergren, Chilean Hugo Leon and Dutchman Wil Besseling at 11 under. Home favourite and two time winner Joost Luiten carded a ten under par total in a tie for tenth, alongside Belgian Thomas Pieters, Welshman Bradley Dredge, Frenchman Mike Lorenzo-Vera and England’s Matthew Southgate.
As for the rest of the Irish challenge, Paul Dunne enjoyed a much better day as he signed for a four-under par 68 and a share of 27th at minus-seven.
While the Greystones professional left with a cheque worth €17,222 for the performance, Gavin Moynihan was left licking his wounds after a disastrous final round of 79 saw him tumble down the leaderboard to 64th position.
Full scoring HERE