Consistent shooting from Michael Hoey not enough in Cologne

Michael Hoey showed consistent form in Germany
Michael Hoey showed consistent form in Germany

Fabrizio Zanotti triumphed in the first four-man play-off in BMW International Open history to win his first European Tour title in the most dramatic fashion on Sunday.

Zanotti, Henrik Stenson, Rafael Cabrera-Bello and Gregory Havret were all in with a shout of lifting the title after they could not be separated on 19 under par after the final round.

It took until the fifth extra hole for Zanotti to clinch it, with Havret and Cabrera-Bello bowing out on the second and fourth extra holes respectively.

It means that Zanotti is now the first golfer from Paraguay to win on the European Tour and improves his previous best finishes of runner-up in the 2009 Open de Espana, 2010 KLM Open and 2012 Irish Open.

Northern Ireland’s Michael Hoey has finished joint 22nd after a third successive 69.

The 35-year-old Shandon Park player had six birdies and three bogeys for another three-under-par total.

Hoey, five times a winner on the European Tour, had started the event with a sparkling six-under 66 and finished on 15 under par overall.

He was four behind Fabrizio Zanotti of Paraguay who won a four-man play-off.

Shane Lowry’s closing 67 hoisted him to a share of 11th place on 16 under while Damien McGrane finished on the seven-under mark following a closing round of 70.

Cabrera-Bello would have been the favourite in many eyes going into the titanic play-off tussle after notching an eagle and a birdie on the 17th and 18th holes already on Sunday.

But Zanotti was the only player out of the four leaders to avoid carding a bogey in the fourth round and he maintained that statistic when it mattered most.

“I have really been playing very well in the last few weeks so I knew that if I had a good round I would have a good chance,” he told Sky Sports News.

“I have been working a lot and trying to bring up my confidence to get to this moment and finally I am here.”