Belgium’s Thomas Pieters made it two victories in three weeks at the KLM Open, edging out Lee Slattery in a tense final round and denying the Englishman a double of his own.
Pieters, who won the D+DREAL Czech Masters a fortnight ago, was safely in the clubhouse on 19 under par at Kennemer Golf and Country Club courtesy of a five under par 65 in the final round, leaving Slattery, who claimed last week’s M2M Russian Open, needing to par the last to force a play-off.
Having found thick rough with his drive, Slattery had a putt from three feet to save par, but he missed, handing Pieters his second European Tour title and the €300,000 first prize.
Spaniard Eduardo De La took a share of second place thanks to a seven under par 63, while overnight co-leader Rafa Cabrera-Bello, also from Spain, signed off with a 71 to slip down to tied seventh.
“I’m really, really happy. I felt like I played better in the Czech Republic, but my short game was great this week and saved me many times,” said Pieters.
“I rolled in a couple of good ones early in the round and made a really good par save on the ninth which kept the round going.
“I had chances coming in and I felt like I needed to make a couple more. I feel bad for Lee as he played great.”
Simon Thornton finished as the leading Irish player on 11 under par, tied for 23rd.
Dublin duo, Padraig Harrington and Peter Lawrie ended the event well down the leaderboard.
Meanwhile, Sebastien Gros claimed the biggest victory of his career as he won the Kazakhstan Open by one shot at Nurtau GC to jump to the top of the Road to Oman Rankings and guarantee himself a place on The European Tour next season.
The Frenchman looked to be running away with it, opening up a three shot lead with eight holes to play, but Denmark’s Mads Søgaard, playing alongside Gros in the final pairing, fought back to tie the lead with five holes to play.
Nerves affected both players as they each made two bogeys down the final stretch to stand level coming down the 18th, but Gros made par to take his second victory of the season following his win at the Najeti Open Presented by Neuflize OBC.
Castledawson’s Chris Selfridge finished tied for 42nd on two under par with Ruaidhri McGee a couple of shots back on level par.
In ladies golf, Lydia Ko shot a final-round 8-under 63 at The Evian Championship to become the youngest major champion in history. Ko (18 years, 4 months, 20 days) broke Morgan Pressel’s previous record (18/10/9) with a four-day total of 16-under par 268. She had one bogey in her final 36 holes and recorded the lowest final round by a winner at a major, previously held by Karen Stupples (64) at the 2004 Women’s British Open. Lexi Thompson finished runner-up and six shots back at 10-under par.