Sergio Garcia has won his first tournament of 2019 with victory at the KLM Open in Amsterdam, holding off a strong late challenge from Denmark’s Nicolai Hojgaard.
Garcia had shared the 54-hole lead with Englishman Callum Shinkwin and appeared to have the title in his hands with three holes to play before a bogey at the 17th and a failure to make birdie at the par five last saw the winning margin reduced to just one.
For Hojgaard it will be a case of mixed emotions having lost the chance for a first European Tour victory with a bogey at the 16th although it might be he looks back to Friday’s second round when a triple bogey, again at the 16th hole would prove crucial in the final outcome.
“It was honestly amazing to have my brother, Angie my wife and little Azalea here, it’s very special, said Garcia.
“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.
“Amazing, we had a great week and great to win again.”
Hojgaard who is currently ranked outside the top 1000 in the world was disappointed not to have forced a playoff the proud of what he achieved and delighted for what it means to his playing future.
“It was fun out there. I got a good start and everything came down to one putt, so I’m very proud of being in the chance of getting a play-off with Sergio (Garcia), so I’m pleased to be here.
“It was close, but when I hit I knew it was left. It was close but I am happy to have a putt to force a play-off and I’m speechless right now.
“This week means I’m playing European Tour tournaments next year. I’ve been in-between with everything so I’m hopefully on my way up there so that would mean a lot.”
Jake McLeod led the Australians and was the only one to make the weekend.
For the 25 year old Queenslander it was his best European Tour finish in his last 13 starts but it was not enough to make any difference in his current 156th standing in the Race to Dubai rankings.
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) September 15, 2019