Romero, No. 837, clinches BMW Open

Andres Romero of Argentina putting during the final round of the BMW International Open yesterday. The world No. 837 claimed his first Tour title since 2008 in a brilliant come-from-behind performance.
Andres Romero of Argentina putting during the final round of the BMW International Open yesterday. The world No. 837 claimed his first Tour title since 2008 in a brilliant come-from-behind performance.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Masters champ Garcia ends one stroke back; Spieth edges closer to Travelers C'ship title

MUNICH • Masters champion Sergio Garcia missed out on his third title of the season after he could only come up with a three-under 69 in the final round of the BMW International Open yesterday.

The Spanish golfer totalled 272 to tie for second place along with Englishman Richard Bland (69) and Belgium's Thomas Detry (66).

Andres Romero took the title after he produced a sizzling 65 to total 271 and win by a stroke.

The Argentinian, ranked 837th in the world and in the field only on a sponsors' invite, came from three shots back to win at Golfclub Munchen Eichenried.

The 36-year-old went into the final day three strokes adrift of Bland and world No. 5 Garcia, but ended up winning by one shot from that pair and Belgian Thomas Detry.

Romero, who has struggled with form and fitness in recent years, belied his lowly ranking with a fantastic performance to claim his first title on either the European or PGA Tours since 2008.

Detry made the first move, with five birdies on the front nine to briefly take the lead.

A bogey on the par-four 10th hole put a halt to his charge, as the focus turned to the final group of Garcia and Bland.

The overnight leaders started slowly, with Bland playing his first eight holes in one over, while Spaniard Garcia was even par.

But both sprung into action around the turn, as the Englishman poured in three consecutive birdies to Garcia's two in three holes as the pair moved a stroke clear.

The previous four years had seen the winner score at least 17 under at Eichenried, and Romero catapulted himself into a tie for the lead with six birdies in eight holes.

Detry also rediscovered his groove with birdies at the 14th and 16th holes, leaving four players tied atop the leaderboard on 16 under with the last group having four holes to play.

The tournament took a dramatic twist, as after Detry had failed to find a birdie at the par-five 18th hole and signed for a 66, Romero did just that to set the clubhouse target at minus 17.

Bland and Garcia fell back with late bogeys, meaning that they both needed an eagle on the 72nd hole to force a play-off with Romero.

Garcia narrowly failed to chip in with his third shot, before Bland's 15-foot eagle putt slid past the right edge to confirm Romero's unlikely victory.

In Hartford, Connecticut, Jordan Spieth birdied three of the last four holes, including the last with a dramatic 20-foot putt, to grab a one-stroke lead after Saturday's third round of the PGA Travelers Championship.

He shook off back-to-back bogeys at the par-five 13th and par-four 14th holes with a sizzling finish, curling in his final putt for a four-under 66 to reach 198 after 54 holes.

The American, who won earlier this year at Pebble Beach, could complete a wire-to-wire triumph at TPC River Highlands and claim his 10th PGA title.

Boo Weekley, who has not won a PGA title since 2013 at Colonial and has not finished in the top 25 this season, fired a 65 to stand second on 199.

Fellow American Daniel Berger (66) was third on 201.

Taiwan's Pan Cheng-tsung carded the day's low round, a 64, to join England's Paul Casey (66) and Sweden's David Lingmerth (65) in fourth on 202.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 26, 2017, with the headline 'Romero, No. 837, clinches BMW Open'. Print Edition | Subscribe