Thriston Lawrence Denies Joost Luiten To Win BMW International Open

The South African beat the Dutchman by one shot for his fourth DP World Tour title

Thriston Lawrence during the fourth round of the BMW International Open
Thriston Lawrence claimed the BMW International Open title by one shot
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Thriston Lawrence became the first South African to win the BMW International Open since Ernie Els in 2013 following a one-shot win over Joost Luiten in Munich.

The 26-year-old had plenty of work to do heading into the final round, beginning three shots behind overnight leader Luiten. However, he gradually chipped away at the lead despite a mixed performance as Luiten failed to replicate his exceptional bogey free 65 of Saturday.

The day began steadily enough for Luiten with a pair of pars. Meanwhile, there were early signs that Lawrence would emerge as his closest challenger with a stunning 45 foot birdie putt on the second. Soon after, Luiten endured his first bogey of the day, on the par 4 third – a hole then birdied Lawrence.

It wasn’t long until Luiten strengthened his lead with his first birdie of the day on the fifth, which included an impressive putt of his own, from 16ft. Another bogey followed on the seventh to give the challengers plenty of hope, and Luiten then found consistency, with pars on holes eight through 16th to keep his nose in front.

All the while, though, Lawrence remained in touch as his bid to become the first South African to win the tournament since Ernie Els a decade ago continued. That included birdies on the sixth, seventh and ninth, albeit tempered by bogeys on the fifth and eighth.

Lawrence’s mixed bag continued on the back nine, with further bogeys on the 10th, 12th and 13th largely offset by birdies on the 11th and 15th.

With Lawrence having just two holes left to claw back a one shot deficit, he did just that on the 17th with his eighth birdie of the day. Meanwhile, on the 16th, Luiten was about to make his ninth successive par.

By this time, local hero Maximilian Kieffer was back in the clubhouse. He had been firmly in contention too thanks to a round that included four birdies and an eagle, but a bogey on the 16th derailed his challenge and he eventually had to settle for a tie for third, two shots off the winner.

Luiten’s run of pars came to an end on the 17th, but not in the way he would have wanted, and he instead had to settle for a bogey that, for the first time in the day, handed the outright lead to Lawrence.

Any hopes Luiten had of regaining the lead seemed even more remote as he played his final tee shot, leaving it in the rough near water with a tricky lie. Seconds afterwards, Lawrence completed his round of 69 to leave him one shot ahead of Luiten, who knew that only a birdie would be good enough to force a playoff.

Joost Luiten near his ball on the 18th in the fourth round of the BMW International Open

Joost Luiten ran into trouble on the 18th

(Image credit: Getty Images)

He dug himself out of trouble on his second shot, but his birdie putt attempt began just off the green and it proved a step too far, despite a valiant effort that missed by inches. Luiten finished with par to hand the DP World Tour Rookie of the Year his fourth win on the Tour.

Mike Hall
News Writer

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.