Peter Hanson’s decision to stay on rather than return to Florida to be with his sick son paid off on Sunday as he won the European Tour’s KLM Open at Hilversum.
The 34-year-old Swede – whose wife convinced him to continue on Friday night despite his son being in intensive care – rattled in a 35 foot putt on the 18th green to record a three-under par round and a four-round total of 14 under par.
Hanson, who also gained a massive morale boost ahead of his second successive Ryder Cup appearance at the end of the month, won by two shots from Pablo Larrazabal of Spain and Scotland’s Richie Ramsay.
It was his fifth European Tour title, although on Friday, he was on the verge of leaving the tournament after learning that his nearly two-year old Tim was in isolation in the Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital in Orlando with RS virus, a respiratory virus common in young children.
Hanson, who birdied his closing two holes in Hilversum for a third round 67, had booked a flight out of Amsterdam on Saturday morning but on the insistence of his wife, Sanna agreed to continue in the event.
And Hanson was also given special permission to remain in contact on the phone during the course of play on the Hilversum course.
“My older daughter, Stella who is five-and-a-half has just started school and she brought it back home so Tim has contracted it from her,” said Hanson.
“I spoke to the doctor and he said with the Ryder Cup coming up it might be possible I could also pick up the virus.
“So that’s why we have Tim isolated in the Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital because my wife is now ill and so too is our nanny.
“The doctors said that when they cough it could be just so easy for me to pick up the virus and that’s the last thing I need going to Medinah.”
Europe defend the team trophy against the United States at the course just outside Chicago from September 28-30.
Hanson’s concern for his son meant he managed just 30 minutes sleep on Friday night as he was in continual contact with his wife.
“I’ve been so worried about Tim I only got about 30 minutes sleep last night,” he said
Sleep or no sleep, Hanson rallied to win the tournament, hitting form that will delight Europe’s Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal, as the clash against the United States at is less than three weeks away.
Overnight co-leader Larrazabal finished second after a level-par 70, with Scotland’s Richie Ramsey joining him after a three-under round.
Spaniard Larrazabal looked set to claim the title after Hanson, who was one behind at the time, drove into the trees at the 16th.
However Hanson recovered for a par, while on the same hole Larrazabal made a bogey as they went into the final two holes level.
Both parred the penultimate hole before Hanson’s lengthy putt on the last placed the pressure firmly on Larrazabal.
He could only manage a par and two birdies in the last two from Ramsey meant they shared second place.
Scotland’s Scott Jamieson finished a further two strokes back, while England’s Graeme Storm and Spain’s Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, the other players to share top spot overnight, tied for fifth with Henrik Stenson on nine under.