European Golf Tour
Lara downs Lynn for playoff win in Austria



Atzenbrugg, Austria (Sports Network) - Jose Manuel Lara two-putted for par on the first playoff hole Sunday to defeat David Lynn and win the Austrian Open.

Lara rallied with an eight-under 64 to get in first at 17-under-par 271. Lynn, who shared the lead entering the round, closed with a four-under 68 to force the extra session.

The duo returned to the 18th tee at Diamond Country Club. Lynn played first and found a tough lie in the right rough before Lara's drive landed in the fairway.

Lynn had to lay up with his second before hitting his third to 12 feet. Lara's second came to rest 30 feet from the hole. Lara rolled his birdie effort three feet by the hole before Lynn missed his par putt and tapped in for bogey.

The 33-year-old Lara knocked in his par putt for this second victory on the European Tour.

"I was expecting something good. I was hitting the ball really well last week," admitted Lara, who tied for fourth last week in the Netherlands. "I wanted to win this tournament and the way I played today and this week, in my best dreams I never imagined that. Today, I just came from behind and tried to work from the back and I did my job."

U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell closed with a three-under 69 to share third place at minus-14. He was joined there by Alexander Noren (68) and Danny Willett (71). Willett shared the third-round lead with Lynn.

Lara played two groups ahead of Lynn and flew up the leaderboard with four consecutive birdies from the third. That run got him to 13-under, where he trailed by one.

Lynn had two bogeys and two birdies in his first six holes. He trailed Willett by one at that point, but joined him in the lead with a birdie on the eighth.

Around the turn, Lara grabbed a share of the lead for the first time as he birdied the 10th. Lara birdied the 12th and 13th to get to 16-under, but Lynn stayed right with him with birdies on 11 and 12.

Lara took the outright lead as he birdied the 14th for his third birdie in a row. Lynn slid two back as he tripped to a bogey on 13. Lara stumbled to a three-putt bogey on the 15th, but came right back with a birdie on 16.

Lynn birdied the 15th and had the lead by himself once again as he birdied 16 and Lara stumbled to another three-putt bogey on the 17th.

Lara atoned for that mistake though as he rolled in a 20-foot birdie putt at the 18th to get in at 17-under. Lynn parred the final two holes to force the extra session.

"It's mixed emotions really. To make the two-putt at the last to make the playoff was unexpected because it was quite a tough putt," Lynn admitted. "It was a less than 50-50 chance of two-putting from there I'd say. And then I hit a poor drive in the playoff and that was it really."

The victory for Lara follows a share of fourth place last week at the KLM Open. The two events vaulted Lara up the Race to Dubai standings and helped ease the pain of missing the weekend in nine straight events. He had missed eight cuts and withdrew from one event in that span.

"I saved my card today," Lara said. "I've been struggling in the last few years and I've missed too many cuts."

At the beginning of the year, Lara had a similarly poor stretch with seven consecutive missed cuts and a withdrawal in his eighth start. With the back- to-back top-fives, Lara climbs inside the top 90 in the Race to Dubai standings.

NOTES: Lara's 64 was the low round of the day...Matthias Schwab, a 15-year-old amateur that made the cut, closed with a 75 to end in a tie for 32nd at minus- five. It was the best ever finish by a 15-year-old on the European Tour, as he bettered the finishes that Sergio Garcia and Jason Hak had at that age...The tour heads to France next week for The Vivendi Cup, which last year was a team event...This year, the tournament will be a 72-hole stroke play event with the first 36 holes also having a Pro-Am format.

09/19 12:32:54 ET