Joost Luiten claims home victory with three-shot win at KLM Open
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 11/09/16 8:31pm
Joost Luiten ended a two-year winless run on the European Tour with a three-shot win on home soil at the KLM Open.
The Dutchman carded 10 birdies on his way to an eight-under 63 during a superb putting display, to come out on top in a final-round tussle with Bernd Wiesberger in Spijk.
Luiten made a fast start and got within one of overnight leader Scott Hend after opening with back-to-back birdies, as the Australian bogeyed the fourth after failing to get up-and-down from a bunker.
Hend rolled in a 12-foot eagle at the sixth and birdied the next to restore his advantage, only to see his lead doubled when Luiten followed successive gains from the sixth with a blemish at the eighth.
The momentum swung around the turn when the Dutchman picked up shots at the ninth and tenth, which gave Luiten a two-shot cuhsion when Hend ran up a double-bogey at the ninth.
Wiesberger made his move up the leaderboard with three birdies in a four-hole stretch from the 12th, briefly holding pole position when Luiten found the water and dropped a shot at the 13th.
The home favourite bounced back by draining an 18-footer at the 14th and making a kick-in birdie at the next to restore his lead, while Wiesberger saw his challenge ended with a blemish at the penultimate hole.
Hend ended up in the hazard and double-bogeyed the 15th and lost further ground with a missed par save at the 17th, the hole where Luiten sealed victory with a 10th birdie of the day.
The first one was special but this one is very special," Luiten said. "To have the Dutch people behind me all week and to be able to stand here with the trophy in my hands is very special.
"It was one of those days where everything I looked at went in the hole. People talk about the zone and I think I was in it today. I missed one shot when I went in the water on 13 but besides that I didn't do much wrong.
"These are the kind of days that make it all worth getting out of bed for."
A bogey-free 65 saw Byeong Hun An end the week in third spot, one stroke ahead of Hend, Alejandro Canizares and English pair Ben Evans and David Horsey.