Hanson won KLM Open despite heavy heart


Last Sunday at the KLM Open, Peter Hanson battled more than just the usual nerves in trying to win his fifth European Tour title.

Back home in Orlando, Fla., his 1-year-old son, Tim, was in the Arnold Palmer Hospital battling a serious respiratory virus. On Friday night, after the second round in The Netherlands, Hanson called his wife every hour, throughout the night, to check on his son’s progress. He nearly withdrew.

When it came time for Saturday’s tee time, Hanson said, “there are some days you can just get away with it. Luckily, I was still playing good golf, but it could have gone any way.”

During the final round, Hanson shot 67 and holed a dramatic 25-foot eagle putt on the last hole to win by two. He dedicated the victory to his son, who since has been released from the hospital and is resting comfortably at home.

“It was nice to come back and see him,” Hanson, 34, said Tuesday on “Morning Drive.”

Hanson’s victory at the KLM Open continued an impressive stretch by the European Ryder Cuppers, who have combined to win six times in the past five weeks on the PGA and European tours. The importance of current form, Hanson said, cannot be overstated.

Ryder Cup week is such a hard week,” said Hanson, who also represented the Europeans in 2010, going 1-2 at Celtic Manor. “If you’re not playing well, you don’t have enough time to get ready and find your game. So you’ve got to be prepared when you arrive there Monday morning, and it’s nice to see us in form.”

Asked about potential partners in the team format, Hanson said he’d like to play alongside either Lee Westwood (a “dream partner,” he said) or Francesco Molinari, because, he said, “he’s very steady and we play the same way.”