International Open: Fabrizio Zanotti wins play-off on dramatic final day

Fabrizio Zanotti, Cologne Open winner
Fabrizio Zanotti had never won a European Tour event before his dramatic victory in Cologne

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.

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.

Henrik Stenson
Henrik Stenson ran Zanotti closest but lost at the fourth play-off hole

"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.

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