Paul Casey has survived a thrilling battle to win his second event of 2019 but his first European Tour title in five years by holding off strong final day challenges from Matthias Schwab, Robert MacIntyre and Bernd Ritthammer to win the Porsche European Open in Hamburg.
Casey was playing his first stand alone European Tour event since finishing 7th in this same event twelve months ago and needed to be at his best to survive an intriguing final day.
He did so by producing a bogey free final round of 66 but it was a near thing as all three of the runners-up had their chances to at least force a playoff.
Casey dedicated the win to two-time European Open champion Gordon Brand Jnr, whose funeral will be held tomorrow after passing away last month at the age of 60.
“I’ll be dedicating this to Gordon Brand Jnr, without question,” he said in the post round media room.
“This is an incredibly prestigious trophy with a lot of history to it on the European Tour. I’m over the moon and so happy to be Porsche European Open champion.
“I volunteered at this event at Walton Heath in 1991 – as a standard bearer – walking around the golf course. Walton Heath is not far from where I grew up as a kid, I never thought I’d be sitting here with the trophy, which is very, very cool.
“I’ve been lucky to win at Wentworth, and to win this one feels very special. We had some great players in the field, and the young players pushed us older guys right to the end.
“I’d been away from the Tour for a few years, since then I’ve had a couple of wins in the US. The Ryder Cup last year is part of the highlight package.
“I feel good about that – age is just a number. I feel as fit at 42 as I’ve ever felt. I have an understanding of my golf game and a lot of enthusiasm. I love working hard for it and the quest of being as good as I can be.”
Lucas Herbert continued the improved form he displayed last week in Switzerland by leading the Australians when finishing 22nd, Scott Hend and Min Woo Lee were 36th, Dimi Papadatos and New Zealander Ryan Fox were 60th, Jake McLeod 63rd, Harrison Endycott 64th and Adam Bland 66th.
The European Tour now moves to Amsterdam in the Netherlands for the KLM Open.
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) September 8, 2019
Photo Paul Casey – courtesy of Getty Images