Dier Hangs on For First Victory


Tobias Dier hung on down the stretch to win his first European Tour event at the North West of Ireland Open.
Dier birdied the last hole of the tournament Sunday at the Slieve Russell Golf and Country Club to win by a single stroke over playing partner Stephen Dodd.
The 24-year-old from Germany shot 71 for a total score of 17-under-par 271, and took home 58,330 euro for his efforts. The check marks his biggest earning yet in professional golf, and his win comes as the eighth time in 2001 from a first-time champion on the tour.
This means a great deal to me, Dier claimed following the round. This is my first win on the European tour and it gives me an exemption to next year as a tournament winner, which means I can really plan the year and play every tournament I want.
Now, it appears, the youngster is all set for the future.
It was iffy for a time Sunday, however.
Starting the day three strokes ahead of the field, Diers lead had been trimmed to one entering the last, following bogies at the 14th and 17th holes and compounded by a Dodd-birdie at No. 17.
At the par-5 18th, Dier successfully hit the green in two, with a 2-iron that ended only 30 feet from the cup, but he was bettered again by Dodd, who put his second shot to a mere 15 feet.
Dier missed his eagle attempt, but had only a tap-in left for birdie, and then Dodd was faced with a great opportunity for the eagle and tie.
The putt slid by, however, leaving Dier with the simple kick-in and victory.
I was very relieved he didnt make his putt, said a smiling Dier.
Diers wonderful performance for the week follows a string of six missed cuts on the European Tour.
He might have known he would do well this week, however. Last year, the former biochemistry student shot a course record 65 at this very same venue to finish fourth, his best finish on tour up till this week.
So whats next?
The next thing is to win a big event on the European Tour, said the victor. I want to compete with the great players.
Full-field scores from the North West of Ireland Open