Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 28 December 2014

Dyson wins KLM Open

Simon Dyson of England poses with the trophy after winning the KLM Open
Simon Dyson of England poses with the trophy after winning the KLM Open

History repeated itself in extraordinary fashion as England's Simon Dyson won the KLM Open in the Netherlands for the second time in four years.

Just as he did on the same Kennemer course in 2006, Dyson sank an 18-foot birdie putt on the first hole of a sudden death play-off.

Last time it was to beat Australian Richard Green and this time it was to defeat Dubliner Peter Lawrie and Swede Peter Hedblom.

Defending champion Darren Clarke was tied for fifth position after carding a final round of two-under-par 68 to end on 13 under.

Damien McGrane was fourth on 14 under, Shane Lowry seven under after a 68 and Gareth Maybin five under after a 71. Jonny Caldwell, Gary Murphy and Michael Hoey all missed the cut.

Dyson had been six strokes behind Hedblom with a round to play, but equalled the course record with a dazzling seven-under-par 63 for a 15-under total of 265 that matched the lowest of the European Tour season.

Lawrie led by one at that stage, but bogeyed the 16th and then Hedblom hit the flagstick with his tee shot to the 170-yard 17th and stopped two feet away.

After they had both parred the last the trio returned to the final hole, but Hedblom went over the green and bogeyed, while Lawrie was studying a five-foot par putt when Dyson struck.

It was the 31-year-old's first title since the same event and it earned him a career-high cheque for more than £257,000.

There was one great difference from three years ago, though. Dyson could not fully celebrate on that occasion because it was the day Darren Clarke's wife Heather lost her battle with breast cancer.

Clarke had been the defending champion this week and very nearly was involved in the play-off as well.

Two birdie putts hung on the lip of the hole at the fourth and 18th, but by staying out he finished joint fifth with Welshman Jamie Donaldson one behind another Irishman, Damien McGrane.

Dyson was reminded of his first victory on the links early in the day.

“When I birdied the seventh and ninth I thought back to doing the same when I won,” said the York golfer. “Then I birdied the 12th like I did then.”

He had also rolled in a 20-footer on the 10th, but the crucial one was a 35-footer at the 17th.

“It was travelling,” he said. “It's funny when you see the line you're not thinking about the pace. That was a bonus.”

So was the par he made on the 384-yard 14th. He pushed his drive into a bad lie in the rough, but was able to take relief because of a molehill.

Kennemer will not be hosting the tournament next year — it moves back to Hilversum — and Dyson added: “It's a shame to be honest. It's horses for courses and this just seems to suit my eye.”

Hedblom had led by two overnight, but managed “only” a 69 and has now lost all four play-offs he has been in.

Lawrie will feel the title should have been his. He chose an iron for safety off the tee at the 473-yard 16th, but made a complete hash of it and did well in the end to drop only one shot there.

He was round in 67, but he had opened the door and Dyson stepped in — again.

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