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Willett bags maiden European Tour win


Paul McGinley had to settle for third place

Paul McGinley had to settle for third place

Paul McGinley had to settle for third place

Danny Willett grabbed his first European Tour win, beating Australian Marcus Fraser at the fourth hole of a play-off for the BMW International Open in wet and windy Cologne as Ireland's Paul McGinley finished joint-third.

Willett was three clear after eight holes of the final round, but fell one behind after bogeys at the ninth, 11th and 15th. Fraser dropped a shot at the difficult 456-yard last, however, and Willett got away with a bad drive close to the trees for a par to tie on the 11 under par mark of 277. They were round in 71 and 73 respectively.

They then played the 18th on four more occasions. Both parred it the first time after Fraser holed from 12 feet, bogeyed it next with Willett missing from four feet and parred it next before it was settled.

Willett was over the green and almost chipped in, then Fraser lipped out from 30 feet and missed his four-footer coming back. Joint-third and one behind were McGinley (66), Spaniard Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano and England's Chris Wood, who was joint leader with two to play, but bogeyed the short 17th en route to a 73.

For McGinley it was a third top-seven finish in his last four starts, but he was left to rue his Saturday 77 after being joint second at halfway.

"Obviously there's a gaping thing in the week and I've got to give some thought to why I lost my speed on the greens and my confidence," said the Dubliner.

"I had five three-putts - I don't think I've ever had that in my life - but it was a good reaction and I'm really looking forward to this week's Irish Open.

"Royal Portrush is one of my favourite courses in the world and I've played it a lot over the years."