Dyson wins third KLM Open title in six years, is third three-time champion

simon dyson
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Simon Dyson celebrated his victory with the greenskeeping crew after a difficult week of weather in the Netherlands.
PA Sport and Associated Press

Series: European Tour

Published: Sunday, September 11, 2011 | 7:33 p.m.

England’s Simon Dyson won the European Tour’s KLM Open for the third time in six years, shooting a 4-under 66 on Sunday for a one-stroke victory over countryman David Lynn.

Dyson, two shots behind leaders Gary Orr and James Kingston entering the round, birdied four of the last seven holes to finish at 12-under 268. Lynn closed with a 68.

Dyson joined Seve Ballesteros and Bernhard Langer as three-time winners in the Dutch national champioship.

“It’s something special, a dream come true really,” said Dyson, who also won in 2006 and ’09. “To win any title once is tough, but to win it three times is a fantastic feeling.”

U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy (67) was third at 10 under.

Dyson also won the Irish Open in July. He has six career European Tour victories.

Dyson, 33 and a Walker Cup teammate of Luke Donald and Paul Casey in 1999, birdied four of the last seven holes for the win that took him into the world's top 30 for the first time in his career.

Rory McIlroy finished third, good enough to take him back to third in the world rankings, while No. 2 Lee Westwood's closing 66 lifted him from 18th to fifth I the final standings.

Dyson had to wait to see if his 12 under-par-total of 268 was good enough.

Lynn, whose triumph on the same Hilversum course seven years ago was his only one in 351 European Tour events, and Orr were both on the 16th two behind. They did well to save par there, then Lynn's 15-foot birdie attempt at the next hung on the lip.

It left both of them needing to eagle the par-5 last, and while Orr's chance went after he pushed his drive and had to lay up -- in the end he took 6 to drop to fourth -- Lynn had a 30-footer to force a playoff, but ran it wide.

"I'm absolutely delighted to be on the same trophy as names like those two," Dyson said of Ballesteros and Langer. "It's something special, a dream come true really. To win any title once is tough, but to win it three times is a fantastic feeling.

"I started a bit shakily -- my timing was just a little bit off -- but after my bogey on 11 I played pretty flawless golf."

He birdied three in a row from the 12th to take over at the top and then made the task harder for those chasing him with a two-putt birdie four on the last.

Dyson wins his third Seve Trophy berth for Britain and Ireland against Continental Europe in Paris this week, but a Ryder Cup debut is the big target.

This was the second counting event in Europe for next September's match in Chicago, and he is now just behind Denmark’s Thomas Bjorn, last week's winner in Switzerland, at the top of the standings.

McIlroy was playing with Dyson and a hat trick of birdies from the second, even though they followed a bogey, made the U.S. Open champion the favorite. But the 22-year-old played the next 12 in 1 over and two closing birdies were too little, too late to give him his first professional victory on European soil.

"It's not been a bad two weeks," said McIlroy, who was also third in the Omega European Masters last weeks. "To be able to give myself a chance when I didn't have my best stuff I was quite pleased, but I should have made more of that fast start."