Pablo Larrazábal produced a grandstand finish as he birdied the final two holes to win the KLM Open and earn his second victory in his last three starts.
The Spaniard was the man to catch ahead of the final round but after a double bogey on the second hole, the tournament was blown wide open with no fewer than seven players holding a share of the lead at any given point.
However, a stunning approach to the par three 17th left a simple birdie chance which saw Larrazábal snatch the outright lead at Bernardus Golf.
The 40-year-old then converted a 21-foot birdie putt at the last for a three under par 69 and a two-stroke victory on 13 under.
Larrazábal won the Korea Championship Presented by Genesis – his last non-Major start – in April and now has four victories in the space of 15 months following his victory at the 103rd edition of the Netherlands’ national open.
A plethora of players pushed the now nine-time DP World Tour winner all the way, and it was countryman Adrian Otaegui who finished as his nearest challenger in second place on 11 under par.
Denmark’s Rasmus Højgaard and South African Deon Germishuys shared third place on ten under par, with Poland’s Adrian Meronk, Thai Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Daniel Hillier, of New Zealand, a shot further back in a tie for fifth.
Rowin Caron, the World Number 980, finished as leading Dutchman as he shared eighth place on seven under par.
Pablo Larrazábal: “What a day. It was a battle for myself. I didn’t play well. Starting with that double on the second, I managed myself out there, holed a couple of great putts on the front nine. I did my best to keep myself in position and then three birdies in the last four. To win golf tournaments, you have to make birdies at the end and it doesn’t matter how fast you run in the beginning, you have to run fast at the end to win the race. That’s what I did.
“What a putt at the last. I tried to make two putts from 20 feet but I made it. I’m so proud of myself and so proud of my team. We struggled big time through Covid, through all those times, but here we are. Four wins in 15 months, it means so much to me. Hopefully I do 20 per cent of what Miguel [Ángel Jiménez] did in his forties. This is the first win since turning 40.
“My goal is to stay happy. Adriana and I, we are having so much fun out there and at home. We are a perfect match and to have your best friend next to you through all these tough times has been unbelievable. I have to thank her for her help. She is a psychologist, which helps a lot. And Raul, we have been together for eight years. We didn’t win for the first six years, he was one of those guys we stuck together and then in the last 18 months, four together and I’m so happy.
“I’m super tired now. What a day. I didn’t feel comfortable this morning and started the day with a double bogey on the second but then my caddie told me, after the double bogey, we were in exactly the position we like; chasing. After 13 or 14 holes, I didn’t hit it as well as I did the last three days so he said the handicap has to come, you’ve played so well for three days, the good shots have to come in. What a three shots – the shot on 15, what a shot on 17 that came out and then that third shot on 18 was key.
“I’ve stayed patient and enjoyed life. Golf is very important but you have to be comfortable back home, you have to be loved and to enjoy life and that’s what I do. Adriana is such an important part of my life and I cannot thank her enough.
“This is an historic trophy, this is one of the best. This is right up there with the most famous trophies we have on the DP World Tour.”