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Willett secures maiden win after dramatic sudden death playoff in Germany

June 24, 2012 -- Updated 1913 GMT (0313 HKT)
Danny Willett with the winning trophy from the BMW International Open in Cologne.
Danny Willett with the winning trophy from the BMW International Open in Cologne.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Danny Willett wins BMW International Open in Cologne after sudden death playoff
  • Maiden European Tour victory for 24-year-old Englishman
  • Brian Davis and Roland Thatcher hold lead after three rounds of Travelers Championship
  • Melissa Reid scores emotional win in Prague Masters on Ladies European Tour

(CNN) -- England's Danny Willett recorded his maiden European Tour victory after a marathon sudden death playoff against Marcus Fraser of Australia at the BMW International Open in Cologne Sunday.

The 24-year-old Willett won at the fourth extra hole, taking advantage after Fraser missed a three foot putt for par.

Former Walker Cup star Willett, in his fourth year on the Tour, had 19 top-10 finishes in his professional career without clinching victory going into the tournament.

"It's amazing," he told the official European Tour website. "It was a tough day -- it was brutal with the wind whipping and it was raining.

"Marcus had a great round today and I hung in there nicely. Hopefully I gave people a good show."

It's amazing. It was a tough day -- it was brutal with the wind whipping and it was raining
Danny Willett

Willett was as good as his word, but it needed a miraculous shot on the 18th to seal a playoff with Fraser, a two-time winner on the European Tour.

Fraser had set a clubhouse target of 11 under after a bogey of his own on the last. Willett needed a par to match him and after his drive ended behind a tree it looked unlikely.

But he produced a sensational hooked iron shot to reach the green and two putts later forced extra holes.

Willett missed a five-footer for victory on the first sudden death hole, but eventually was left to celebrate a breakthrough triumph.

Tied for third, one shot adrift were Ireland's Paul McGinley, Spaniard Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano and England's Chris Wood.

On the PGA Tour, England's Brian Davis and Roland Thatcher were leading the $6 million Travelers Championship going into Sunday's final round.

Davis shot a six-under 64 to reach 12-under 198 after 54 holes, while Thatcher carded a 65.

There was an emotional win on the Ladies European Tour as England's Melissa Reid won the Prague Masters Sunday, just a month after her mother Joy was killed in a car crash in Germany.

Reid rolled home a six-footer on the final hole to hold off Italian Diana Luna, before breaking into tears and being comforted by fellow competitors and friends.

"To be honest I wasn't that nervous. I think with something like what's happened to my family and me the last four weeks nothing really seems that difficult anymore," Reid told AFP.

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