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Wallace chases down Olesen to clinch BMW International Open

Wallace chases down Olesen to clinch BMW International Open

Matt Wallace continued his sensational run of form as he defeated Thorbjorn Olesen courtesy of a back-nine charge at the BMW International Open.
 

What happened at the BMW International Open?

England’s Matt Wallace fired a magnificent final round 65 to chase down Thorbjorn Olesen to win the BMW International Open at Golf Club Gut Laerchenhof.

Wallace started the round two shots adrift of the leaders, but at one point it seemed that the title would be going to Denmark’s Olesen, who birdied eight of the final 10 holes to sign for a 61 – the best round of his European Tour career. He had a three-shot lead before the leaders had even teed off.

As the pre-round leaders started to falter, it proved to be Wallace who made the biggest move. After a low-key front-nine of 34, Wallace went on a birdie blitz, picking up shots at 10, 11, 13, 15 and 16 to edge one-shot ahead of the pacesetter Olesen.

But after a wayward drive at the 18th, Wallace was in all sorts of trouble as he looked to make par to set the clubhouse target. His ball ran through the bunker and perched on the back edge; the approach shot required an awkward stance where the ball was well above his feet.

The resulting shot – a superb iron safely into the middle of the green – summed up his exceptional play under pressure and his meteoric rise over the past year.

The Shot Clock Masters winner Mikko Korhonen made a late rally but ultimately came up a shot short, as did Martin Kaymer, who will be ruing a careless bogey on the drivable par-4 17th after running his short chip through the green.

Less than two years ago, Wallace was playing on the Alps Tour. Today, after nobody could catch him, he holds a very real chance of making the European Ryder Cup team in Paris after securing his third European Tour title in 13 months.

Aaron Rai and Lucas Bjerregaard rounded off the top-five.

Full BMW International Open leaderboard

Best quote

Matt Wallace:

It was a strange surreal day after seeing Olesen shoot 61. I knew 10 (under-par) was the number. I want to kick on and do this in the bigger events from now on. I need to play myself into the Ryder Cup and this is a good start.

Best moments

Tom Irwin

Tom Irwin

Tom is a lifetime golfer, now over 30 years playing the game. 2023 marks 10 years in golf publishing and he is still holding down a + handicap at Alwoodley in Leeds. He has played over 600 golf courses, and has been a member of at least four including his first love Louth, in Lincolnshire. Tom likes unbranded clothing, natural fibres, and pencil bags. Seacroft in Lincolnshire is where it starts and ends.

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