Fasth Wins Playoff Daly Finishes Third

By Sports NetworkJuly 24, 2005, 4:00 pm
European TourHAMBURG, Germany -- Niclas Fasth birdied the third playoff hole on Sunday to win the Deutsche Bank Players' Championship of Europe. Fasth shot a final-round, 4-under 68 to finish alongside Angel Cabrera at 14-under-par 274. Cabrera fired a 67 to get into the playoff.
 
'It is by far the biggest win of my career,' said Fasth. 'I thrive on the pressure like I did in the Ryder Cup -- it seems to bring out the best in me. I knew I had to pick up some shots in the closing holes, but there are chances there and I managed to hole a few putts.'
 
Fasth and Cabrera returned to the 18th tee for the playoff. Fasth found the fairway off the tee, while Cabrera lost his tee ball in the right rough. Each player put their second shots on the putting surface and two-putted for par.
 
The duo once again returned to the 18th at Gut Kaden Golf and Land Club for the second extra hole. Both players faced the same fate after their tee shots.
 
Fasth's tee shot was 10 yards shorter than his first in the playoff, but in the fairway. He knocked his second shot just over the back edge of the green, while Cabrera caught a flier out of the rough. His second sailed long and left into a sand trap.
 
Fasth was able to putt his from the second cut of fringe, but it rolled 4 feet past the cup. Cabrera played a wonderful bunker shot within inches of the cup. He tapped in for par. Fasth then drained his putt for par to extend the playoff.
 
Back on the 18th tee again, Fasth found the fairway for a third time and then dropped his second 12 feet from the cup. Cabrera, from the first cut of rough, also knocked his second to 12 feet.
 
Cabrera missed his birdie putt and tapped in for par. Fasth stepped up and sank his birdie putt for the third European Tour win of his career. That was just the second birdie on the 18th hole all day.
 
'We both played very well in the playoff and I just managed to win it the third time around,' said Fasth, who also won the Holden New Zealand Open in a playoff this year. 'It feels fantastic. This is one of the big ones, and to get this is worth a lot to me.'
 
Due to Thursday's play being completely washed out, the final 36 holes were played on Sunday. Dredge led after three rounds at minus-12 and was two shots clear of Fasth, Lawrie and Henrik Stenson.
 
Fasth opened regulation with four straight pars. He birdied the fifth and eighth to make the turn at 12 under. Around the turn, he dropped a shot at the 11th, but the Swede then ran off three birdies in a four-hole stretch from the 14th to tie Cabrera.
 
Cabrera picked up one birdie in his first nine holes. The Argentine birdied 10 and 13 to move to minus-12. He birdied three straight holes from the 15th, but bogeyed the last to end at 14 under.
 
'I had a great week and played very well today,' said Cabrera. 'In the playoff, I missed the putt. That was all. It was a tough 39 holes. I got clear, but when I made bogey on 18 I knew a good opportunity had escaped. It was never enough.'
 
Former British Open champion John Daly fired a 7-under 65 on Sunday. He shared third place with Stephen Gallacher (69) at 12-under-par 276.
 
Bernhard Langer, a three-time winner of this event, was one shot further back at minus-11. He tied for fifth place with Peter Lawrie, Graeme Storm and Bradley Dredge.
 
Due to Thursday's play being completely washed out, the final 36 holes were played on Sunday. Dredge led after three rounds at minus-12 and was two shots clear of Fasth, Lawrie and Henrik Stenson.
 
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