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Hirmer celebrates start-to-finish victory in Poland

Gradi Polish Open 2022

It's not over until the last putt is made: Michael Hirmer (-13) almost loses his victory on the final day of the Gradi Polish Open, but in the end wins narrowly ahead of Felix Schulz (-12) from Austria. Hirmer's compatriot Hannes Hilburger and Switzerland's Luca Galliano (-11) finished tied third at the Gradi Golf Club.

by Daniel Dillenburg

Brzeźno, Poland - "I think that was the toughest round of my life." Visibly relieved, Michael Hirmer spoke about his final round at the Gradi Polish Open. The 25-year-old from the GC am Reichswald had just clinched his third title on the Pro Golf Tour. However, it was a journey with ups and downs. On the first two days, Hirmer shone with rounds of 63 and 60 strokes. No one mastered the comparatively short course at Gradi Golf Club near Wrocław as well as he did.

"Everything worked out on the first two days," the winner admitted afterwards. He entered the final day with a comfortable lead of four strokes. Hirmer already looked like the winner 18 holes before the end, but he also knew: "It's always not easy when you have such a comfortable lead and have shot so low, then to fully perform again on the last day."

And it should indeed become exciting again. After two birdies at the beginning, Hirmer allowed himself too many mistakes. "Every bad shot was punished immediately." First the bogeys on holes 3 and 9, then a triple bogey on twelve. Hirmer suddenly faltered again. "On twelve, my ball came up on the green, took a hard kick and landed at the back of the fence. From there I was in trouble." The lead was almost gone. In windy conditions in Brzeźno, things suddenly got tight again. The players who had renewed hopes were Felix Schulz from Austria, German amateur Hannes Hilburger and Luca Galliano from Switzerland.

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"Then it was once again a matter of keeping my head together," said Hirmer, who did not speak of the toughest round of his life for nothing. Despite another bogey at the end and only a 74 (+4) on the final day, it was enough for a narrow victory over Schulz from Graz in the end. "It feels strange," said the winner of the 2021 Starnberg Open. "I didn't play that well, but still won." In the end, the title was decided in the mind. A discipline Hirmer has placed great emphasis on for some time. "I work a lot with my mental coach Herbert Forster. That is still just as important for me as technique or fitness training."

The third Pro Golf Tour title is the result of a strong development that has already produced two second places this year. "I have been consistently developing in the right direction for a year now." Not much was missing and Hirmer would not have been competing in Poland this week, but at the BMW International Open, which was taking place at the same time. Despite the invitation, he decided to start at the Gradi Polish Open: "At the end of the day, the Pro Golf Tour is the tour I play on. I have invitations to other tours from time to time, but this is my tour and that's where my focus should be." As it turned out on Friday, that was the right decision.

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