Canter enters winner's circle at European Open

motorsport02 June 2024 17:07
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Laurie Canter © Gallo Images

Laurie Canter held his nerve down the stretch to claim a maiden DP World Tour title at the European Open after a tense final day in Germany.

The Englishman entered day four at Green Eagle Golf Courses in a two-way tie at the top of the leaderboard but had three players for company after playing his first 10 holes in one over.

With multiple DP World Tour winners Thriston Lawrence and Bernd Wiesberger making moves on the back nine, the pressure was on Canter but he produced three birdies on his way in to sign for a 72 and finish at 13 under.

South African Lawrence and Austria's Wiesberger carded rounds of 68 and 71 respectively to finish two shots behind, one clear of Frenchman Julien Guerrier and Dane Niklas Nørgaard.

After coming through the Qualifying School in 2015, 2016 and 2017, Canter spent the 2019 season on the European Challenge Tour but had his breakthrough in the Covid-affected 2020 campaign.

He finished second at the Portugal Masters and the Italian Open to sit in the top 20 on the Race to Dubai Rankings in Partnership with Rolex and has had two more runner-up finishes, including at this season's AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open.

Despite a top 10 at last week's Soudal Open, he was playing with a new set of irons this week and that decision has paid dividends as he moves into the top ten on the Race to Dubai and the summit of the European Swing Rankings.


"This is what I've always wanted to do: to win on the DP World Tour," he said.

"Now that I've done it it's going to open up some opportunities for me. If I'm going to try and climb the world rankings and get myself up and playing in the biggest tournaments in the world you have to know how to win and I think you only get that belief once you do it. Hopefully, it means I can push on and go from strength to strength.

"It's quite difficult if you feel like you're serially not getting it done to have that almost stigma around you. I know in my own self that I could win. My realisation was to focus on what my close friends and family are thinking of me and be more immersed in that versus trying to win for someone on Twitter. That's probably helped me.

"I tried to not get caught up in the tournament, I tried to keep it as factual as possible. It went my way today and in the past, it hasn't and probably now that I've done it, I look back at when I didn't do it and think it wasn't so much what I was doing, it was other people doing stuff.

"Today I holed a great putt on 15 and 16, those sort of things were happening for me today and from my perspective I kept putting one foot in front of the other. I know how to play golf, I just kept telling myself that."

Canter made a perfect start, taking the solo lead with a pitch to eight feet at the first but co-overnight leader Guido Migliozzi joined him at the summit with a very smart chip to get up and down at the par-five fourth.

Migliozzi was alone at the top as Canter failed to save par after going over the back of the fifth green but the Italian then found reverse gear himself, three-putting from distance on the sixth and bogeying the next after missing the green with a poor second.

The final group were treading water and when Canter missed a very short putt on the tenth, there was a four-way tie for the lead.

Canter birdied the par-five 11th and soon after Migliozzi's chances were gone as he went over the back at the 13th and then double-bogeyed the 14th after finding the water.

Everything looked to be going Canter's way but Wiesbeger and Lawrence are serial winners on the DP World Tour and they applied the late pressure.

Lawrence holed a long putt on the second, hit smart irons into the fifth and 17th and took advantage of the fourth, 11th and 15th as he moved to ten under.

He was inches from an albatross on the last but missed his eagle putt and was left to rue bogeys on the third and 13th as he set the target at 11 under.

Wiesberger had sandwiched an excellent tee shot into the eighth with bogeys on the third and ninth but holed from the fringe at the tenth, hit another excellent tee shot into the 14th and left himself a tap-in after laying up at the 15th to sit one back.

Canter played a lay up and hit an excellent pitch of his own into the 15th to move two ahead but at the 16th Wiesberger took a similar route to a birdie to keep the pressure on.

A brilliant 36-footer on the 16th handed Canter another birdie and ahead on the 17th Wiesberger did him a favour, three-putting to hand the 34-year-old a three-shot lead with two to play.

A three-putt on the 17th cut that to two but Wiesberger could not take advantage of the par-five last and Canter was left to enter the winner's circle at the 142nd attempt.

Guerrier carded six birdies and two bogeys in a 69 while Nørgaard made two double-bogeys, a bogey and four birdies in a 74.

Japan's Keita Nakajima carded a 71 to finish at nine under, a shot clear of Spain's Rafa Cabrera Bello and two ahead of Migliozzi, defending champion Tom McKibbin, English pair Tom Lewis and Garrick Porteous and American Johannes Veerman.