Willett triumphs in Cologne

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IOL pic june25 golf danny willett Reuters England's Danny Willett watches his ball during the final of the International Golf Open in Pulheim near Cologne.

Berlin - England's Danny Willett claimed his first European Tour title by beating Australian Marcus Fraser after a marathon playoff in the BMW International Open in Cologne on Sunday.

The pair finished level at 11 under par before the 24-year-old Willett, 204th in the world rankings, held his nerve with a par at the fourth playoff hole to earn victory after previously notching up 19 top-10 finishes.

“It's amazing,” Willett told the European PGA Tour website. “It was a tough day - it was brutal with the wind whipping and it was raining.

“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.”

Willett and Fraser ended the regulation four rounds a shot ahead of Ireland's Paul McGinley, who fired a final-round six-under-par 66, England's Chris Wood and Gonzalo Fdez-Castano of Spain.

The playoff followed a fluctuating final day at Gut Larchenhof in which overnight leader Willett was overtaken by Fraser who then bogeyed his last hole to set the clubhouse target.

Willett pulled off a superb long iron on to the 18th green from behind a tree and sank a four-foot putt for a round of 73 to force the playoff. - Reuters

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