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Golf Today > Tour Schedules > 2006 > European Tour > BA-CA Golf Open > Round 4


Markus Brier becomes first Austrian winner

Markus Brier became the first Austrian winner on the full European Tour when he captured his home title by three strokes on Sunday.

Brier overcame early nerves in front of his supporters at the Fontana club to lead the Austrian Open from start to finish, closing with a three-under-par 68 for 18-under-par 266.

He finished three shots ahead of Denmark's Soren Hansen and four in front of Britain's Simon Dyson.

Although Brier had twice won the Austrian Open as a Challenge Tour event, this made him the 10th first-time winner on the full tour.

He had to show great determination to do it after coming under attack from Hansen and tournament favourite Colin Montgomerie.

Two early bogeys from the Austrian and a run of three birdies by Montgomerie brought the eight-times European number one within a stroke, with the Briton making up five of the six shots he trailed Brier before the final round.

With playing-partner Dyson catching him, too, Brier needed to regroup and did so with a birdie just before the turn to edge back into the lead on his own.

Hansen's run of four successive birdies from the eighth then took him alongside Brier but pressure from Montgomerie folded when the Scot dropped five shots in four holes from the 11th.

Hansen, without a win since his maiden 2002 Irish Open success, finally gave way with a bogey on 16, to allow Brier his victory march in front of a delighted gallery.

An eventful week for Brier, which included a hole in one in the first round and a pitch-in eagle-two in the third, ended with two putts on the last after safely negotiating the lake, for a $280,000 first prize.

"When I was coming down 18 I felt my legs could go any moment and I had to stop and take a breather," Brier told reporters.

"My caddie told me to get the ball on the green and I'd have three or four putts for the title and I did just that.

"To do this on the European Tour for the first time is just unbelievable and the biggest day of my career."

A 65 by Hansen, who, like Montgomerie, trailed Brier by six overnight, earned him second place, while Dyson's 71 kept out a surging Richard Green of Australia, who matched the course record 63 set by France's Gregory Havret earlier in the day.

Montgomerie's back nine of 43 shots as he eventually finished 13 strokes adrift of Brier, was not the sort of send-off he wanted before taking on Winged Foot in next week's U.S. Open.



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