Top 10 finish for McKibbin as Canter claims maiden Tour win

Mark McGowan

Laurie Canter (Photo: Getty Images)

Mark McGowan

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Laurie Canter claimed a long-awaited maiden DP World Tour title with an emotional triumph at the European Open in Germany, while Tom McKibbin’s first title defence finished with yet another top-10 placing.

The Holywood man was four off the lead entering the final round but just couldn’t get going. Bogeys on the fifth and 16th holes were his only deviations from par over the first 17 holes, and his closing birdie-four was minor consolation as it lifted him back inside the top 10 for the fourth time in his last seven starts.

Next up will be his maiden major championship appearance at Pinehurst, so though he’ll be a little disappointed with his final round, he knows that his overall game is in great shape.

Englishman Canter entered the final round at Green Eagle Golf Courses in a two-way tie at the top of the leaderboard but made a slow start on the Porsche Nord Course, playing his first ten holes in one over par.

Canter held his nerve on the back nine with three birdies and two bogeys to sign for a one under 72 and finish on 13 under par, two ahead of multiple DP World Tour winners Bernd Wiesberger and Thriston Lawrence in second.

The 34-year-old has had four runner-up finishes on the DP World Tour, including at the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open earlier this season, and he was delighted to finally get over the line on a tense final day in Hamburg.

“This is what I’ve always wanted to do, to win on the DP World Tour,” Canter said afterwards. “Now that I’ve done it it’s going to open up some opportunities for me. If I’m going to try and climb the world rankings and get myself up and playing in the biggest tournaments in the world. You have to win and I think you only get that belief once you do it. Hopefully it means I can push on and go from strength to strength.

“It’s quite difficult if you feel like you’re not getting it over the line and to have that almost stigma around you. I know in my own self that I could win. My realisation was to focus on what my close friends and family are thinking of me and be more immersed in that versus trying to win for someone on twitter. That’s probably helped me.

“I tried to not get caught up in the tournament, I tried to keep it as factual as possible. It went my way today and in the past it hasn’t and probably now that I’ve done it, I look back at when I didn’t do it and think it wasn’t so much what I was doing, it was other people doing stuff.

“Today I holed a great putt on 15 and 16, those sort of things were happening for me today and from my perspective I kept putting one foot in front of the other. I know how to play golf, I just kept telling myself that.”

Despite a top ten at last week’s Soudal Open, he was playing with a new set of irons this week and that decision has paid dividends as he moves into the top ten on the Race to Dubai Rankings in Partnership with Rolex and the summit of the European Swing Rankings.

Frenchman Julien Guerrier and Dane Niklas Nørgaard finished in fourth place on ten under par, while Japan’s Keita Nakajima was a shot further back in sixth.

Spain’s Rafa Cabrera Bello finished in seventh position on eight under, while three-time DP World Tour winner Guido Migliozzi, English duo Tom Lewis and Garrick Porteous and American Johannes Veerman shared eighth with McKibbin on seven under.

The Race to Dubai now heads to Sweden for the Volvo Car Scandinavian Mixed, taking place from June 6-9 at Vasatorps Golfklubb.


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