Triumph brings Dougherty to tears

Nick Dougherty's first win after the sudden death of his mother was always going to be emotional and that the young Englishman had to endure the worst 12 months of his career before eventually returning to the winner's enclosure was to make the tears which flowed in Munich yesterday that bit more inevitable. On holding a short putt to lift the BMW International Open, Dougherty pointed to the sky with a Frank Lampard-like dedication.

But what a scare the 27-year-old from Liverpool was given before he secured the £280,000 first prize, as well as a spot in next month's Open Championship at Turnberry. Five clear and seemingly coasting with three to play, the gap was suddenly cut to one when Rafa Echenique finished with two twos, holing a 243-yard three-iron on the last for only the fourth albatross of the European Tour season.

The Argentine came back in a Tour record equalling 27 and was, remarkably, 10-under for his last 10 holes. But his 62 for a 21-under total was destined to fall one short as Dougherty nervelessly parred in to post a 64. Immediately his thoughts turned to Ennis, his mother, who died of a heart attack aged 61, a few days after her son's Masters debut. "I'm very proud and I'm sure she would be too," said Dougherty whose third Tour title came 20 months after his last. "It's no secret that the last year has been tough for me since she died. There have been lonely times on Tour and times when I didn't know if I much felt like playing golf. But I've come through it and this means so much to me."

Dougherty's professional decline since his personal tragedy has been pronounced. He was established as a top-50 player and seemed a near certainty to make the Ryder Cup team of Nick Faldo. But after Augusta, in his remaining 18 events of 2008, he managed just two top-five placings and last week he arrived in the Bavarian capital with just one top-10 finish of the '09 campaign. Dougherty was out of the world's top 100 and in his last event, the Wales Open three weeks ago, had blown a lead with a final-round 79.

"I've actually been more consistent of late and have had a few chances to win," he said. "But things have gone against me. By the 15th I told myself, 'This is my time'. Then I looked at the scoreboard and realised what Rafa had done and thought, 'Oh my goodness, not again'."

It was certainly good enough to leave the long-time leader Retief Goosen trailing in third, four shots behind. Bernard Langer, meanwhile, could not reward the home crowd who turned out to see if the 51-year-old could roll back the years. Langer's 72 , however, was not as disappointing as Colin Montgomerie's 76. It left him in joint 66th of the 71 players and ensured the Ryder Cup captain would complete a full year without a top-10 finish.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas