Munich, Germany – It took four playoff holes, but Danny Willett finally collected his first European Tour title as he downed Marcus Fraser in rainy conditions on Sunday to win the BMW International.
Fraser bogeyed the final hole of regulation to post a 1-under 71. He went into the clubhouse at 11-under-par 277. Willett, who fell back to minus-11 with a bogey on the 15th, parred his final three holes to shoot a 1-over 73 and force a playoff.
The duo played No. 18 for all four extra holes. The first time through, Fraser converted a seven-footer for par, while Willett got up and down for his par.
Fraser hit a poor chip on the second playoff hole, and two-putted from about 30 feet for bogey. Willett chipped his third within five feet, but missed the par-saving putt and it was back to the 18th tee.
Willett had the advantage with his second shot on the green. After Fraser chipped to four feet, Willett left his birdie try some six feet short. Both players converted their par chances.
On the fourth extra hole at Golf Club Gut Larchenhof, Fraser seemed to have the advantage as his second stopped just over 35 feet from the hole before Willett's approach soared over the green.
Willett nearly holed his chip, but his ball stopped a foot from the cup. Fraser's birdie try lipped out on the left side, but rolled a few feet away. He missed the par-saver, then watched as Willett tapped in for par and the win.
"It's amazing. It was a tough day. It was brutal with the wind whipping and it was raining. Marcus had a great round today and I hung in there nicely. Hopefully, I gave people a good show," Willett said.
"This week has been strange, I've been working really hard with support from my family and my girlfriend. I've had some ups and downs in the last 18 months as everyone knows, but I'm injury free now and back to playing well and I'd like to thank everyone back home for supporting me."
Paul McGinley fired a 6-under 66, the low round of the day, to jump into a share of third place at minus-10. He was joined there by Chris Wood (73) and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (69).
Marcel Siem (72) and Henrik Stenson (70) shared sixth place at 9-under 279. Siem shared the lead after making three straight birdies to start his round, but he triple-bogeyed the seventh and followed with bogeys on eight and nine to slide back to minus-7.
Joel Sjoholm struggled to a 3-over 75 to end alongside Thomas Bjorn (71), Thongchai Jaidee (71) and Ross Fisher (70) in eighth place at minus-8.
After Siem fell out of contention, Willett and Fraser battled for the lead the remainder of the round.
Fraser started with birdies on the first and third. Willett responded with birdies on the third and fourth to move two strokes clear at 14-under. Fraser inched within one as he rolled in a 5-footer for birdie on the sixth.
The Australian stumbled to bogeys on the eighth and ninth, but Willett also dropped a shot on the ninth as his lead dipped to two.
Fraser birdied the 12th and when Willett failed to save par from a bunker on the 11th, the duo was tied at 12-under. Fraser tripped to a bogey on the 14th, but came but back with a three-foot birdie putt on 16 to get back to 12-under.
Willett slipped one back as he faltered to a bogey on No. 15. At the last, Fraser found fescue off the tee and pitched his second into the rough. He managed to get his third onto the green, but two-putted for a closing bogey.
Willett reached the par-5 16th in three, but couldn't convert his birdie effort. He two-putted for par on 17. At the 18th, he almost lost the event. Willett's drive ended in the rough and under a tree.
The Englishman somehow hit the green with his second shot, then two-putted for par to force the extra session.
NOTES: Willett, who was making his 106th career tour start, earned 333,330 euros for the win...Hall-of-Famer Bernhard Langer closed with an even-par 72 to end in a tie for 23rd place. This is the only event in Germany which Langer hasn't won...The tour heads to Northern Ireland next week for the Irish Open, Simon Dyson beat Richard Green by a single stroke two weeks after the British Open last year.