WALLACE MOVES INTO RYDER CUP RECKONING WITH BMW WIN
Hertfordshire tour pro Matt Wallace is making a bold bid for Ryder Cup selection after winning his second European Tour title of the season – and his third in little over a year – when he shot a final round 65 at Gut Laerchenhof in Germany to claim the BMW International Open.
The 28-year-old from Moor Park started the final round just two shots off the lead, but spent much of the day looking up the leaderboard at Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen, who signed for a record-breaking round of 61 to open up a three-shot lead before the final group had even teed off.
But Wallace stepped up in some style, making five birdies in seven holes from the turn to sign for a bogey-free 65 and get to ten under par, one shot ahead of Olesen.
It was then a waiting game for the clubhouse leader, as Martin Kaymer and Mikko Korhonen got within one shot. Both ultimately finished at nine under par alongside Olesen, with Kaymer’s challenge ending after he sent his second shot through the back of the drivable 17th, as Wallace added to last season’s victory at the Open de Portugal and his triumph at the Indian Open in March.
He added: “It’s brilliant to win here in Germany, and to play against the likes of Martin Kaymer, and the other guys at the top there, but I want to build on this. I want to kick on, and hopefully carry this form into some of the bigger events. So hopefully this win will give me the confidence to go and do that. I really want to play my way into the Ryder Cup team.
Speaking about his final round, Wallace said: “I played the front nine really nicely, but missed loads of putts. Then I holed two putts from long range of 10 and 11, and after that I hit some great shots and felt like I had a really good chance of closing it out.”
The €333,330 first prize moved Wallace up to 11th in the Race to Dubai rankings, 12th in the European Ryder Cup points list, and a career-high 66th in the world rankings.
Olesen, who is also eyeing up a place in Thomas Bjorn’s team after winning the Italian Open earlier this month, said: “I felt like I was striking the ball fantastically all week, and I gave myself so many chances, but I had a bad day on Saturday, and obviously that was very disappointing, because I felt like I was playing so well. Today, I was just trying to get ready for next week, and leave in a positive frame of mind, but as the round progressed I kept on making birdies and trying to make the round better. Finishing with four birdies was pretty nice.”
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