International Open: Fabrizio Zanotti wins play-off on dramatic final day
INTERNATIONAL OPEN 2014
- -19: *F Zanotti (Par), H Stenson (Swe), R Cabrera-Bello (Spa), G Havret (Fra) *play-off winner
- -18: J Donaldson (Wal), S Dyson (Eng), T Jaidee (Tha)
- -17: D Willett (Eng), E Grillo (Arg), T Bjorn (Den), P Larrazabal (Spa)
- Selected others: -16 S Garcia (Spa), A Wall (Eng), P Waring (Eng), O Fisher (Eng), S Lowry (Ire); -15 P Casey (Eng); -11 MA Jimenez (Spa)
Fabrizio Zanotti won the International Open in Cologne after a four-way play-off and become the first man from Paraguay to win on the European Tour.
Zanotti, 31, shot a final day 65 to finish on 19 under and beat Henrik Stenson, Rafa Cabrera-Bello and Gregory Havret in a dramatic play-off.
Simon Dyson was the highest-placed Englishman, a shot back on 18 under alongside Wales' Jamie Donaldson.
Did you know?
- Zanotti was Paraguay's top ranked amateur golfer for six years before turning professional in 2003
- He had finished in the top 15 in his previous two tournaments, at the Irish and Lyoness Opens
- Prior to his victory in the Cologne Open, he was 305th in the world rankings
England's Danny Willett, who led after round two, was a further shot behind.
It was a memorable victory in a lengthy play-off for the unheralded Zanotti, whose previous best finish on the tour had been three second places.
Swede Stenson, an eight-time European Tour winner, missed a makeable putt on the 18th green - which would have averted the need for a play-off - then rolled a putt inches wide at the first extra hole.
As heavy rain began to fall, Frenchman Havret dropped out at the second play-off hole, his par bettered by three birdies, while Spain's Cabrera-Bello went on the third when he hit his second shot into the water.
That left Zanotti and Stenson but, finally, on the fourth extra hole, the Swede cracked and a delighted Zanotti clinched victory.
"I was patient. I tried to play shot by shot in the play-off and I am just very happy," said Zanotti.
"I've been playing very good in the last few weeks and I knew if I played well today I would have a good chance."
Spain's Pablo Larrazabal had led by three shots overnight, beginning the day on 17 under, but fired a frustrating level par round of 72 which, on a day of low scoring, was not good enough to keep him in the hunt.
He was overtaken by a pack of players, including Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee - winner of the recent Nordea Masters - who carded a 65, the joint best round of the day, to share fifth place with with Dyson and Donaldson.
The challenges of Denmark's Thomas Bjorn, Australian Richard Green and England's Paul Casey. - who shot a 70 for a final total of 15 under - never quite got going as they failed to keep pace with the front-runners.
Casey's nine-under-par 63 in the third round had been his second lowest European Tour round.