MUNICH – David Horsey of England birdied the 18th hole to win the BMW International Open by one stroke over countryman Ross Fisher on Sunday, shooting a 5-under 67 that earned him the biggest victory of his career.
The 25-year-old former Walker Cup player earned $410,000 – easily the biggest payday of his two-year professional career. Horsey finished at 18 under after starting the day tied for fifth place.
Fisher had an eagle on the 18th to place second, and five players tied for third at 16 under: Alex Cejka of Germany, Pablo Larrazabal and Rafael Cabrero-Bello of Spain, Kenneth Ferrie of England and Bradley Dredge of Wales.
Dredge took a three-shot lead into the final round and extended it to four after a birdie on No. 1. But his round collapsed when he dropped five shots in seven holes from the 10th, finishing with a 74.
Horsey went into the 18th sharing the lead with Dredge, who was on the 16th at the time. The Welshman twice hit into a hazard for a double bogey, while Horsey laid up with his second shot on the par-5 last and then sank what turned out to be a winning birdie putt from 5 feet.
“Although it was on a big screen by the green, I didn’t watch what was happening to Bradley,” Horsey said. “My caddy knew, but he didn’t tell me and I didn’t ask.
“I was just trying to make birdie without having taken the risk of trying to hit the green in two from 250 yards out. I didn’t want to know what was happening because I did not want to put pressure on myself. That had been my policy all through the four rounds, to just try to relax and not make mistakes.”
Horsey’s previous best finishes were second places at the Malaysian Open in 2009 and the recent BMW Italian Open.
For Dredge, his failure to close out victory could prove costly. He was hoping to record his third career win and move closer to securing a Ryder Cup place on home soil at Celtic Manor in October.
But having lost a four-shot advantage, he now possesses the unwanted record of failing to close out victory nine times in his career when leading going into the final day.
At No. 39, Fisher was the highest-ranked player in the last three playing groups and had started his final round tied for second.
His hopes of victory crashed when he ran up a double bogey at the fourth and he only managed to clinch second place with a closing 70 when he sank a putt for an eagle on the final green.