Date: June 23, 2008

Kaymer sneaks home in BMW

Martin Kaymer came through the most searching test of his young career on Sunday to take out the BMW International in Munich via a play-off. The 23-year-old German won his second European Tour title in the process, but only after losing a six-shot lead and being forced into a play-off by Dane Anders Hansen. Kaymer dedicated the victory to his seriously ill mother, crying and saying: “This was for you.” Of the Australasian contingent, Peter O&aposMalley – who shared the first-round lead – finished at seven-under, while Kiwi Gareth Paddison was tied for 48th at one-under. Peter Fowler was a stroke further back and New Zealander Mark Brown had a disappointing tournament to finish at eight-over. After three days of superb golf Kaymer struggled to the turn in 38 and when he ran up a triple-bogey eight on the long 11th, hitting two balls in the lake short of the green, it was all going horribly wrong. Greg Norman, of course, famously lost the 1996 Masters to Nick Faldo from the same position, but last season&aposs Rookie of the Year refused to fold. Hansen, who had knee surgery less than a month ago and was playing his first event back, set the target of 15-under-par with a closing birdie. Kaymer, though, matched it and when they returned to the 568-yard hole he struck a massive drive and his approach finished just seven feet from the flag. With Hansen in two bunkers and not even making par it did not matter that Kaymer, compared on Friday by Bernhard Langer to Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson for his smart and aggressive mix, failed with his eagle attempt. He moves up four spots in the Ryder Cup standings to sixth with only 10 weeks left and now has a great chance of making his debut in September. When he won in Abu Dhabi in January – two weeks before finishing runner-up to Woods in Dubai with a birdie-birdie-eagle finish – Kaymer was also six ahead entering the final round and turned in 39. He was not caught on that occasion and eventually won by four, but remembering that he said: “Six shots is a lot, but it does not feel like that.” “I struggled a little bit and made a big mistake on the 11th. I thought I would make it easy with a five-iron, but got a little loft on the ball.” “I didn&apost keep my patience, but I will know for next time and I kept fighting.” Hansen, originally told he could be out for four to six weeks, had been eight behind at the start of the day, but closed with his second straight 67. For a while it looked as though Englishman John Bickerton might be the one to capitalise on Kaymer&aposs collapse – just as he did when Ernie Els took an eight on the final hole in South Africa in December. Bickerton would have equalled the Tour record by making up a 10-stroke deficit on the final day, but came up two short. Final Round Scores from the BMW International Open -15: Martin Kaymer 68 63 67 75. Anders Hansen 69 70 67 67 -13: John Bickerton 70 70 68 67, Paul Casey 70 68 67 70, Mark Foster 67 72 68 68 -11: Francois Delamontagne 70 66 70 71, Robert-Jan Derksen 74 69 69 65, Martin Erlandsson 70 70 71 66, Thomas Levet 69 69 67 72, Charl Schwartz 69 69 66 73, Henrik Stenson 69 68 72 68 -10: Ross Fisher 70 68 67 73, Retief Goosen 69 69 69 72 -9: Soren Kjeldsen 68 73 68 70, Andrew McLardy 68 75 75 63, Alex Cjeka 74 67 71 68, David Lynn 67 73 66 74, Mamat Mardan 66 71 74 69, Colin Montgomerie 70 71 68 71, Alexander Noren 70 71 68 71 Also: -7: b>Peter O&aposMalley (Australia) 66 75 68 72, Mark Brown (New Zealand) 72 71 80 73 -1: Gareth Paddison (New Zealand) 70 70 74 73 Par: Peter Fowler (Australia) 71 70 74 73