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Golf Today > Tour Schedules > 2006 > European Tour > Russian Open > Round 4


Alejandro Canizares wins maiden title

Spain's Alejandro Canizares birdied two of his last three holes to win his maiden European Tour title at the Russian Open on Sunday.

The 23-year-old, playing in only his third European Tour event, set the lowest score for the tournament at 22-under-par 266, beating the old mark held jointly by four players by three strokes.

"It's a dream come true for me," Canizares, who pocketed 130,600 euros after turning professional just two months ago, told a news conference.

"I didn't expect to win at all. I was confident in my abilities but didn't think my first victory would come so quickly," said the son of former Ryder Cup winner Jose-Maria Canizares.

"I had better days in my career but here the whole week was just perfect."

Canizares shot a six-under-par 66 final round and held off a strong challenge from Briton David Drysdale, still looking for his first European Tour victory.

Drysdale could not sustain his electric form from his opening round on Thursday when he equalled the course record with 10-under-par 62, and had to settle for second place, four strokes back.

"I played alright today, I just didn't make any putts," he said.

"But to be honest, some of the iron shots he (Canizares) hit today, were fantastic."

The 31-year-old Scot had a chance to move within a shot off the leader but missed a short putt on the par-three 16th hole while Canizares made a five-foot birdie to stretch his lead to three strokes.

The Spaniard then made another birdie on the 17th before calmly sinking a 10-feet putt for par on the last to clinch victory just as rain began to fall at the Moscow Country Club in suburban Nakhabino.

Last year's winner Mikael Lundberg of Sweden, who began the day five strokes off the pace, aced the 197-yard par three eighth hole to move within two shots of the leader but then had a bogey on the 13th to finish tied for third with Irishman Gary Murphy.

This year the Russian Open became a fully fledged European Tour event for the first time in its 13-year history with one million euros ($1.28 million) in prize money.



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