Viktor Hovland became the first Norwegian winner in European Tour history as he completed a two-shot victory at the 2021 BMW International Open in Munich, Germany.
The 23-year-old entered the final day at Golfclub München Eichenried with a three-shot advantage but local hero Martin Kaymer carded a stunning 64 to join him at the summit and set the target at 17 under.
After a grinding first 12 holes, Hovland birdied the 13th and 16th to lead by two but a three-putt on the penultimate hole left him with just a one-shot lead stood on the tee at the par-five 18th.
There was no question as to where the trophy was headed, however, as he showed nerves of steel to hit a perfect drive and find the green in two, making a birdie to get to 19 under after a 70.
Spaniard Jorge Campillo finished third at 15 under after a 71, a shot clear of France’s Victor Dubuisson, who completed his week with a 67.
Hovland has already broken barriers for his country, winning twice on the US PGA Tour and this triumph takes him to a career-high 13th on the Official World Golf Ranking.
Kiwi Ryan Fox shot a 3-under 69 on the final day to finish tied for 14th on 11-under for the event. Fellow Kiwi Josh Geary also shot a final round 69 to finish tied for 29th on 8-under.
Hovland moves into the top ten of the Race to Dubai Rankings in Partnership with Rolex and strengthens his position as he looks to become the first Norwegian to play in the Ryder Cup.
“I grew up watching mostly the European Tour,” he said. “There’s a lot of guys who played this week who I grew up watching. It’s cool to be a champion of this Tour, in Germany, in a place that… it’s not in Norway, but it’s close and has some of the same feelings of being home. It’s a huge honour and finally, Norway has a win on the European Tour.”
He added: “I saw (Kaymer) was creeping up from behind and Jorge was hanging on and after missing a bunch of putts, making the birdie on 13 helped a lot and the par save on 14, that was big for momentum.
“After that, I just tried to play pretty solid golf, not make too many mistakes, I had a three-putt on 17 but great birdies on 16 and 18 – it was good enough today.
“It’s The Open, Olympics, Ryder Cup, there’s so much golf to look forward to and I’m just going to have a blast.”