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Van de Velde to keep European Tour card

Jean Van de Velde, France’s best-known runner-up, is delighted with his latest second-place finish - at the Cannes Open - because it has guaranteed his European Tour card for next year.

The Frenchman, who contrived to snatch defeat from victory in the 1999 British Open at Carnoustie, closed with a rousing 65 to finish a shot behind Argentina’s Jorge Berendt.

Having decided to end his recent focus on the US Tour, Van de Velde was determined to make sure he would be able to play on the 2002 European Tour, and his prize of $55,000 for second place in Cannes at the weekend guaranteed that.

He can look forward to this week’s Dunhill Links Championship, where he will take on the sort of players he left standing in Europe, both before and after his Carnoustie escapades.

"I was looking at the last four events [this year] to make sure of the [European] card, but now I already have a job for next year," joked Van de Velde after rising 32 places to safety at 106 in the European rankings.

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