It took England’s Danny Willett 106 pro tour events but he now shares something in common with U.S. Open winners Rory McIlroy and Webb Simpson.
Willett has finally tasted success as a professional for a first time after having been a member also of the 2007 Walker Cup.
The 24-year old Willett managed a superb par from rough at the back of the green at the fourth extra hole to defeat Australia’s Marcus Fraser who three-putted for bogey after both players ended regulation play locked at 11-under par.
Fraser had finished with a 71 before being joined by Willett with a 73 on the rain-softened Gut Larcenhof course at Pulheim.
Both players then parred the first and then bogeyed the second before each parred the third before Willett sealed a first Tour victory in his 106th event after chipping from rough behind the green to virtual tap-in for a winning par.
Also among winning in the professional game from the Walker Cup that year at Royal County Down is the England duo of John Parry and David Horsey plus Welshman Rhys Davies.
Other members of the USA winning team and who have since gone to to taste victory in the pro game is Dustin Johson and Rickie Fowler.
Johnson captured last fortnight’s FedEx St. Jude Classic and Fowler broke through for his first PGA Tour win in last month’s Wells Fargo Championship and defeating McIlroy in a play-off.
“I was thinking only that this morning that there are now only just a handful of players from that 2007 Walker Cup who haven’t won,” said Willett.
“You look at the strength of those two teams with the likes of Rory (McIlroy), Webb Simpson, Dustin Johnson and Rickie (Fowler).
“But to now join the likes of those guys as a Tour winner is fabulous and it’s a big weight off my shoulders.”
Willett collected first prize cheque for Euro 333,330 ($US 418,05) that has seen the Sheffield golfer move from 55th to 18th on the Race to Dubai money list.
He is ninth first-time winner on this year’s European Tour and the 22nd different champion in the 24-year history of the German event.
“It just feels brilliant to win as this is what you look for growing up as a kid,” he added.
“It took a little while longer than I had hoped but it’s been a bit of a rough ride the past few months but I’m now back to full health.
“It was a tough day what with the rain and win and to finish 11-under and to get into a play-off was good.
“I have been in contention a number of times including second to (Martin) Kaymer in 2010 at the Dunhill Links, so to polish it off is a great feeling.”
Ireland’s Paul McGinley shot the best last day score of 66 to share third place on 10-under par with England’s Chris Wood (73) and Spain’s Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano.
The effort is McGinley’s third top-10 in just eight starts this year and has seen the triple Ryder Cup winning star jump 20 places to 46th on the Race to Dubai.