Dyson matches Ballesteros and Langer
Simon Dyson was wide-eyed at the end of the KLM championship at Hilvershumsche. After winning the title for a third time, he learned that he was one of only three players to have achieved such a feat, the others being Seve Ballesteros and Bernhard Langer.
"It's staggering to have matched what they did," said the 33-year-old Dyson, who birdied four of the last seven holes for the 66 which left him on 268, a shot ahead of David Lynn and two clear of Rory McIlroy.
Dyson has now won eight times around the world since turning professional in 1999, while he yesterday had good reason to remember his amateur days as news reached Hilvershumsche of how GB&I had hung on to win the Walker Cup at Royal Aberdeen by a nail-biting 14 points to 12. Dyson played alongside such as Luke Donald and Paul Casey in the winning side of 1999 at Nairn.
On Saturday night, Dyson was sharing the lead with James Kingston but, following an hour's delay for more of the rain which had assailed the tournament earlier in the week, the two players gave hope to their rivals by opening with a bogey apiece.
Gary Orr overtook them and at one point held a two-shot advantage. But Dyson moved up a gear on the homeward half, later identifying his key shot as the six-iron he hit to the 13th. Though it had looked to be nothing more than mediocre as it came down on the right side of the putting surface, his ball took one delicious twist and turn after another before coming to rest a foot from the hole.
Two ahead with three to play, Dyson came up with a classy four-iron to the heart of the home green to make doubly sure that there was nothing along the lines of the play-offs he knew in winning the event in 2007 and 2009.
Dyson's three KLM Opens would obviously feature at the top of his golfing CV but, in terms of realising that he could live with the top players, there was no more important week in his career than the 2007 PGA championship in Tulsa.
Tiger Woods won but Dyson had a closing 64 in temperatures of up to 90 degrees to haul himself into a share of sixth place.
"It was an amazing week, one which told me a lot about myself," said the Englishman.
Improved fitness had played its part. For a while, he was a regular smoker and, on his own admission, someone who enjoyed more than the occasional drink. He saw sense for himself, realising that in this day and age he needed to be sharp on all fronts if he was to make any headway.
It would not be surprising were Dyson to be keeping more than half an eye on the post in the next couple of weeks. When he won the 2009 Dunhill Links championship, he had a letter from Gary Player and, when he won this year's Irish Open, he heard from Arnold Palmer.
"I simply couldn't believe it," said Dyson during the recent Omega European Open in Crans. "Mr Palmer said that he had watched a bit of the tournament and that I deserved to win. The letter was typed but it was definitely his signature at the bottom."
In its own way, it was a piece of paper which meant as much to this particular golf enthusiast as his winner's cheque.
With his experience in the Far East, Dyson could be a decidedly good bet when it comes to the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai. He won all three of the Macau Open, the Volvo China Open and the Omega Hong Kong Open en route to collecting his 2000 Asian Rookie of the Year title and has since bagged an Indonesian Open.
|back to news listing|