(Reuters) - South Africa’s Ernie Els held off final round challenges from Thomas Bjorn and Alexander Levy to seal a one-shot start to finish victory at the BMW International Open in Munich on Sunday.
The British Open champion led the field from the opening round and started Sunday tied with France’s Levy and Sweden’s Alex Noren.
The 43-year-old’s lead slipped during the final round to both Denmark’s Bjorn and tour rookie Levy, but his third consecutive card of three-under par 69 was enough for an 18-under par total, following his stunning 63 on the opening day.
“I just felt good this week,” Els told the europeantour.com website.
”I just felt my game was there and lucky enough it was one shot good enough.
”I really had it going and then I made it tough for myself again. Thomas was playing great, he stumbled on 14, I was watching the kid - I played with him yesterday and he looked like he had a great game - but he stumbled as well on the back nine.
”It’s great to get my name on this wonderful trophy.
“Obviously it gives you a lot of confidence. Wire-to-wire you’ve got the pressure, every night you’ve got to sleep on it, guys are chasing you. So this is quite a week for me.”
Bjorn finished one shot behind Els and was left to rue a double-bogey on the 14th hole, with 22-year-old Levy two shots behind the winner.
The victory was Els’ 28th on the European Tour, but first title since winning his fourth major at last year’s Open.
His defence of that title begins at Muirfield from July 18.
Reporting by Josh Reich; Editing by Mark Meadows; firstname.lastname@example.org; +44 20 7542 7933; Reuters Messaging:; email@example.com; To sign up for our Global Sports Forum chatroom, click here