BMW International Open: Matt Wallace prevails

Matt Wallace
Matt Wallace

Matt Wallace shot a seven-under-par 65 to eclipse a record-breaking round by Thorbjorn Olesen and claim a one-shot victory at the BMW International Open in Pulheim.

Leaderboard

-10 Matt Wallace

-9 Thorbjorn Olesen, Mikko Jorhonen, Martin Kaymer

-8 Aaron Rai, Lucas Bjerregaard

Day four report

Matt Wallace shot a seven-under-par 65 to eclipse a record-breaking round by Thorbjorn Olesen and claim a one-shot victory at the BMW International Open in Pulheim.

Denmark's Olesen moved into the lead with an 11-under-par round of 61 only for Wallace, who started the day two shots off the lead, to claw back the deficit.

Wallace was back in the clubhouse by the time Martin Kaymer and Mikko Korhonen failed to equal his final total of 278, both being forced to settle for a share of second place with Olesen.

Olesen produced nine birdies and an eagle to record the lowest-round score in the history of the tournament, giving him a three-shot advantage before the final group got started.

Kaymer looked a good bet for victory as he stood only one shot back with two holes to play, but a bogey on the 17th saw him come up short.

Sergio Garcia finished tied for 12th place on five under par, while Tommy Fleetwood, who finished second at the US Open earlier this month, was way back on four over par.

Day three report

Englishmen Chris Paisley and Aaron Rai played themselves into a six-way tie for the lead on a dramatic third day of the BMW International Open in Germany.

Scott Hend entered Saturday with a one-shot lead and with calmer conditions seemingly presenting the chance for lower scoring on the outskirts of Cologne, it looked ominous when the Australian moved to seven under and into a two-shot lead on the front nine.

The wind increased later in the day, however, and when Hend eventually signed for a one over par 73, Paisley and Rai had reeled him in alongside home favourites Martin Kaymer and Maximilian Kieffer, and Dane Lucas Bjerregaard.

Bjerregaard was the first man to set the target as he equalled the lowest round of the week with a 67 and Paisley soon joined him in the clubhouse, recovering from a front nine of 38 to come home in 30 with six birdies.

"I just need to keep doing what I'm doing this back nine," Paisley, who won his first European Tour title at the BMW SA Open hosted by the City of Ekurhuleni in January, told Sky Sports Golf.

"Now that I've won before I know I can do it. Even before the win I believed I could do it but you don't actually know until you've done it. So to have that experience of playing really well under a lot of pressure, I know I can handle it so I'm just going to go out tomorrow and enjoy it and do the best I can," he added.

Rai signed for a round of 71 along with two-time major champion Kaymer and Kieffer, and will go in search of his first European Tour win on Sunday.

"It was a good steady round overall," he said. "Conditions were a little easier today, there wasn't as much wind so you could make a score a little more compared to the last couple of days but overall I was satisfied with how today went."

Finn Mikko Korhonen and Chilean Nico Geyger were a shot off the lead, one clear of a group containing English pair Andy Sullivan and Matt Wallace, Scotland's Scott Jamieson, defending champion Andres Romero and Ryder Cup star Thomas Pieters.

Day two report

Australian Scott Hend shot a second round 67 to take a one-shot lead at the BMW International Open in Germany.

Continuing windy conditions brought the punishing rough into play again at Golf Club Gut Laerchenhof near Cologne, but the 44-year-old avoided most of the trouble to shoot a 67 to go six-under par.

Hend bogeyed the 10th, his opening hole, to drop back to level par but it was his only blemish as a birdie on the 12th was followed by an eagle at the par five 15th before a birdie three at the 17th took him into a share the lead.

He closed his second round with back-to-back birdies to card a 67 that leaves him one shot clear of Chile's Nico Geyger and Henric Sturehed of Sweden.

Wolverhampton rookie Aaron Rai briefly assumed the outright lead at seven under, helped by a hole in one with a six iron at the 167-yard 16th which won him a £125,000 BMW i8 Roadster courtesy of the tournament sponsors.

However, he mis-hit his approach to the sixth into the water guarding the front of the green and double-bogeyed, dropping another shot at the next but recovered to close with a 71 to be four under par.

"It was a tricky pin position and it was kind of downwind as well," said the 23-year-old, who graduated from the Challenge Tour after winning three events last season.

"I actually wasn't playing to get in pin-high, I was playing a little long then it pitched short, bounced perfectly and rolled up and went in."

Two-time major winner and home favourite Martin Kaymer carded a 68 to move alongside Rai, overnight leader Sebastien Gros, Maximilian Kieffer and Australian Nick Cullen in a share of fourth.

Former Masters champion Sergio Garcia hit a brilliant approach to two feet at the par-five 15th for eagle - and then birdied the 17th - to reach one under and ease any fears of missing the cut.

The line eventually fell at four over, meaning world number 10 and US Open runner-up Tommy Fleetwood made the weekend courtesy of a six-foot birdie putt at his final hole for back-to-back 74s.

Day one report

Frenchman Sebastien Gros coped best with testing windy conditions to take the lead after the first day of the BMW International Open.

With more than three quarters of the field over par at Golf Club Gut Laerchenhof in Pulheim, near Cologne - and no player bogey-free - the 28-year-old's one dropped shot at the short 16th was impressive and he reached the clubhouse on four under.

Gros was four under for his outward nine and added a fifth birdie at the par-five 15th, slipped up at the next and missed a 10-foot birdie chance at his penultimate hole.

It left him ahead of a group including European Tour rookie pair Aaron Rai and Henrik Sturehed, Scotland's Scott Jamieson and Spaniard Jorge Campillo, who bogeyed his last hole - the ninth - to drop out of a share of the lead.

"It was quite brutal with the wind and it was tough to get the ball on the fairway," Gros told Sky Sports.

"I was four under after nine but there was still 63 holes to play. I was just thinking about trying to make the best round I could.

"I'm just one putting week from something very good."

World number 10 Tommy Fleetwood had a difficult return to action after finishing as the runner-up at the US Open on Sunday, posting a 74 after slipping from two under through five holes.

The Southport golfer, whose father Pete reprised the role as his son's caddie in the absence of regular bagman Ian Finnis after the birth of his son this week, dropped five shots in as many holes - including a double-bogey seven.

He holed a 25-foot birdie putt at the 11th to get back to two over but sliced his drive into the thick rough for bogey at the next and, although he pulled one back at the 519-yard 13th, he could not improve on his two-over score.

Wolverhampton's Rai, who graduated from the Challenge Tour after winning three events last season, admitted conditions were tough.

"Anything around par was a bonus as the wind was blowing hard," said the 23-year-old, who had just one bogey on his card.

"It was all pretty tough. With a lot of crosswinds on approach shots it was tricky to judge distance."

Sturehed, who came out of Q-School last year, reached five under at one point but eventually fell back after a mixed round of an eagle, five birdies and four bogeys.

"I spent most of the time on the fairway but missed a couple on the back nine and it feels like you almost drop a shot as soon as you are in the rough," said the Swede.

Jamieson was more than happy with his round, which included six birdies.

"Delighted with that. It was an extremely tough day with the wind up to 30mph at times," he said.

England's Andy Sullivan posted a one-under 71 with a set of hastily assembled new clubs.

The 31-year-old's bag did not arrive for Wednesday's pro-am so he had a set made up on site but when his bag finally made it to the course he chose to stick with the new irons and just added his old driver and five-wood.

Ernie Els, whose last win came in this tournament in 2013, birdied the last to also post a 71.

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