GOLF: Plucky Hanson holds off World No 1 to land title

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JUST a month after failing to win a point at the Ryder Cup - and being left on the sidelines for three of the five sessions - Peter Hanson had the sweetest win of his career yesterday.

The 35-year-old Swede just held off world number one Rory McIlroy to take the BMW Masters title in Shanghai against a field that also included nine more of his European team-mates from Medinah.

With Luke Donald coming third and Ian Poulter fourth it was a week dominated by members of Jose Maria Olazabal’s side, but Hanson was the one to come out on top.

By claiming a first prize of over £720,000 he has also given himself a chance to deny McIlroy the same European and PGA Tour money list double achieved by Donald last season.

With four more weeks to go he leaps from seventh to second in the standings, and although the Northern Irishman’s runner-up finish means he still has a lead of more than £650,000, the winner’s cheque is more than that in this week’s World Championship event at Mission Hills in Shenzhen - and McIlroy is not playing.

“I’m going to try to keep this form going,” Hanson said after a closing bogey gave him a one-stroke win.

“Rory made a tremendous effort and put quite a bit of pressure on me - his second to the 15th was true class,” Hanson added. “He gave me a bit of a cushion early on (McIlroy missed two four-foot par putts) and I was maybe a little too defensive at the end, but it all worked out.

“My short game used to be my weak part, but I’ve been working on it and my putting has really improved.”

Worksop ace Lee Westwood finished joint 14th on 12 under, nine strokes behind Hanson, while Rotherham’s Danny Willett ended up joint 30th.