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Sergio Garcia holds on to claim KLM Open
Danish rising star Nicolai Hojgaard finished one shot behind the Spaniard in Amsterdam.
Sergio Garcia was forced to use his formidable iron play and vast experience to claim the KLM Open by one shot in Amsterdam.
The Spaniard led by two shots at the fifth and seemed on course for a routine victory, only to trail playing partner Callum Shinkwin by one shot by the seventh following successive bogeys on a mixed front nine at The International.
However, a double bogey at the 10th by the Englishman gave Garcia hope as he carded three birdies and a bogey to card a total of 18 under par and hold off Danish rising star Nicolai Hojgaard for his 16th European Tour title.
Matt Wallace was third at 15 under par, while fellow Englishman James Morrison was one shot further back as Garcia became the first Spanish winner of the KLM Open since Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano in 2005.
“It was honestly amazing to have my brother, Angie my wife and little Azalea (Garcia’s daughter) here, it’s very special,” Garcia told europeantour.com.
“Amazing. We had a great week and it’s great to win again. I played well all week under pressure. It wasn’t easy, there were a couple of tough moments today but I hung on tough, that’s the most important thing.
“I want to thank all my sponsors for their support and everything they do for me and the year just got a little bit better.”
The 2017 Masters champion looked to have sealed victory with a stunning approach from the rough at the 16th, despite having his feet in the bunker for the awkward second shot to dial in to five feet.
The birdie ensured a three-shot lead over Hojgaard but a poor tee-shot at the 17th marked Garcia’s only bogey on the back nine all week to drop to 18 under par just as the Dane got on the par-five last in two shots.
The 18-year-old Hojgaard slid his eagle putt by the hole to finish at 17 under before Garcia carded the par he needed to write his name alongside fellow Spaniards Seve Ballesteros and Jose Maria Olazabal as a KLM Open champion.