Amsterdam - Sergio
Garcia sealed his first victory of the season on Sunday by beating
Danish teenager Nicolai Hojgaard by one shot to win the Dutch Open in
The 18-year-old Hojgaard put the pressure on Garcia by carding a
four-under-par final round of 68 to set a clubhouse lead of 17-under.
But the experienced Spaniard recovered from a 17th-hole bogey by safely parring the last to sign for a 69 and an 18-under total.
"I played well all week under pressure," said world number 43 Garcia.
"It wasn't easy, there were a couple of tough moments today but I hung
on tough, that's the most important thing."
It was former Masters champion Garcia's first title since winning
last year's Andalucia Valderrama Masters, and was his 16th triumph on
the European Tour.
"There was obviously a little bit of nerves here and there. Today
wasn't easy," added the 39-year-old who became the seventh Spanish
winner of the tournament, joining a list that includes Seve Ballesteros
and Jose Maria Olazabal.
"It means a lot to be part of that amazing group, to be there with Seve...
"It's special. Every one is special but this one is special because
my wife and my daughter are here, some of my family are here."
Hojgaard had to settle for second place after a stunning week.
Born in 2001, the Dane was highly regarded as an amateur, but his
previous best effort in five European Tour appearances was tied-76th.
The world number 1 002 made a mockery of his ranking, though, and
would have been dreaming of an incredible victory when he was standing
over a 15-foot eagle putt on the 18th hole, only to see it slide
narrowly past the left edge.
"It was fun out there. I got a good start and everything came down to
one putt, so I'm very proud of being in the chance of getting a playoff
with Sergio," said Hojgaard.
"This week means I'm playing European Tour tournaments next year.
I've been in between with everything so I'm hopefully on my way up there
so that would mean a lot."
The 30th-ranked Englishman Matt Wallace finished two strokes behind Hojgaard in third place, with James Morrison fourth.
Callum Shinkwin, who started the day tied for the lead with Garcia, struggled to a 74 to finish in fifth on 13-under.
Leading final round scores from the European Tour's Dutch Open in Amsterdam on Sunday (par 72/GBR & IRL unless stated):
270 - Sergio Garcia (ESP) 68-67-66-69
271 - Nicolai Hojgaard (DEN) 67-69-67-68
273 - Matt Wallace 75-67-63-68
274 - James Morrison 68-67-69-70
275 - Callum Shinkwin 66-69-66-74
276 - Rikard Karlberg (SWE) 70-68-70-68
277 - Hugo Leon (CHI) 70-69-68-70, Wil Besseling (NED) 72-66-69-70, Joakim Lagergren (SWE) 71-66-69-71
278 - Bradley Dredge 69-69-70-70, Joost Luiten (NED) 69-69-70-70, Mike Lorenzo-Vera (FRA) 72-69-67-70, Thomas Pieters (BEL) 71-66-70-71, Matthew Southgate 67-68-70-73
279 - Patrick Reed (USA) 72-69-70-68, Liam Johnston 70-68-72-69, Padraig Harrington 71-71-68-69, Ashley Chesters 71-68-69-71, George Coetzee (RSA) 71-69-67-72, Steven Brown 69-68-68-74