Hanson beats McIlroy to claim famous win
Just a month after failing to win a point at the Ryder Cup - and being left on the sidelines for three of the five sessions - Peter Hanson had the sweetest win of his career on Sunday.
The 35-year-old Swede just held off world number one Rory McIlroy to take the BMW Masters title in Shanghai against a field that also included nine more of his European team-mates from Medinah, with Luke Donald coming third and Ian Poulter fourth.
By claiming a first prize of over £720,000 he has also given himself a chance to deny McIlroy the same European and PGA Tour money list double achieved by Donald last season.
With four more weeks to go he leaps from seventh to second in the standings, and although the Northern Irishman's runner-up finish means he still has a lead of more than £650,000, the winner's cheque is more than that in this week's World Championship event at Mission Hills in Shenzhen - and McIlroy is not playing.
"I'm going to try to keep this form going," Hanson said after a closing bogey gave him a one-stroke victory on a smoggy day when both of the front two shot five-under-par rounds of 67.
He was five clear after a hat-trick of birdies from the 11th, but McIlroy also made four on the long 13th, eagled the 15th from 18 feet - Hanson birdied - and then cut the difference to two with a five-foot putt at the next.
World number 25 Hanson's par save from 15 feet preserved the gap, but there was still a possibility of a play-off when Hanson's approach to the 471-yard last came down in rough above a bunker.
He thought he might be entitled to a free drop because of a plugged lie, but was refused it and after doing well to chip to 10 feet he breathed a sigh of relief when McIlroy's 15-foot birdie attempt just missed. That left Hanson with two putts for his sixth European Tour win and he took them.
"Rory made a tremendous effort and put quite a bit of pressure on me - his second to the 15th was true class," Hanson added. "He gave me a bit of a cushion early on (McIlroy missed two four-foot par putts) and I was maybe a little too defensive at the end, but it all worked out.
"My short game used to be my weak part, but I've been working on it and my putting has really improved."
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