Henrik Stenson won his tenth European Tour title as he held his nerve down the stretch to claim a three-shot victory at the BMW International Open at Golf Club Gut Lärchenhof.

The Swede had to tackle 36 holes on Sunday after rain delays prevented him from taking to the course on day three and he signed for a third-round 67 in the morning to open up a one-shot lead.

He made three bogeys in five holes from the sixth in round four, though, and when South Africa’s Darren Fichardt made a third birdie of the day on the 13th, the lead was shared.

But Stenson had birdied all four of the par fives in the morning and he took advantage of the 13th and 15th again before driving the 17th for another birdie and a 17 under total.

The victory is a fifth top-six finish in eight European Tour events this season and could move him up to fifth in the Official World Golf Ranking just a week after he had to withdraw from the US Open through injury.

It is also a second win in this event following his triumph in 2006 and a case of third time lucky after finishing in second place the past two seasons.

“It was hairy all the way, it was a tough one. I had to dig deep to come back. I didn’t play well on the front nine, made a couple of mistakes, got caught out by the wind a few times and missed one or two putts I should have made as well.

“I felt like I was starting to make a bit of a mess of it and then I came back and made the birdies on the par fives. I made some good putts closing out.

“I really feel like I played well in 2015 and I just couldn’t get a trophy. It was a bit hard at times but you’ve just got to keep on trying and put yourself in position. I did that once again and this time I managed to go all the way.”

Dane Thorbjørn Olesen was alongside Fichardt at 14 under with Frenchman Raphaël Jacquelin three shots further back.

Olesen briefly held a share of the lead with a birdie on the first but Stenson hit back with one of his own and, despite turning in one over par 37, the 40 year old held a two-shot advantage at the turn.

When both Stenson and Olesen bogeyed the tenth, the chasing pack were brought back into serious contention and it was Fichardt who looked set to make a charge as he hit the front.

But Stenson found another gear and despite Fichardt cutting the gap to one with a birdie on the 17th after an exquisite pitch, he bogeyed the last and Stenson signed for a 71 and won his first event since the 2014 DP World Tour Championship, Dubai in comfortable fashion.

Olesen signed off with a 73 as he claimed a fifth top-20 finish in six events while Fichardt’s 69 earned him his best finish of the season so far.

Jacquelin had held the first-round lead and a share after day two but a second consecutive 72 saw him settle for fourth place, a shot clear of Sergio Garcia and Kiradech Aphibarnrat.

David Horsey and Bernd Wiesberger were then at nine under, a shot clear of the group including defending champion Pablo Larrazábal.

Source: www.europeantour.com