GRAEME Storm found plenty of birdies in the final two days of the BMW International – but too many dropped shots prevented him from making a return to the top of the leaderboard.
Storm ended in a share if 51st place at Golf Club Gut Lärchenhof, a far cry from the first day when he was in a share of third after a six-under-par 66.
A 73 in round two saw him drop 42 places but he still comfortably made the cut and was still capable of a move up the ladder near Cologne.
But Storm could not find the touch of day one.
On Saturday, paired with Frenchman Julien Quesne, the Hartlepool golfer picked up five birdies but two bogeys meant he only signed for a 69 to move to eight under par.
Yesterday, he started like a house on fire with four birdies in his first six holes.
Teeing off at the 10th, his threes at the 10th and 12th and fours at 13 and 15 saw him go to 12 under par and on target for a better finish.
But a double bogey at the par three interrupted his progress although he pulled one of those shots straight back at the par four 17th.
His round continued to be a rollercoaster as he bogeyed the second before sinking an eagle putt at the par five third.
However, his card ended with bogeys at seven and nine for a one-under-par 71.
It meant he finished on a nine-under-par total of 279 – 10 strokes behind first-time winner Fabrizio Zanotti.
The 31-year-old became the first Paraguayan to win on the European Tour after he came out trumps following a four-man play-off.
He had finished on 19 under alongside world number two Henrik Stenson and Rafa Cabrera-Bello and Gregory Havret.
Cabrera-Bello and Havret were eliminated early in the shoot-out and when Stenson found the water and then the bunker at the fifth extra hole he conceded to leave the South American as the champion.
The European Tour moves on to Paris this Thursday, the scene of Storm’s only Tour win at the 2007 French Open.