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Golf Today > Tour Schedules > 2007 > European Tour > Mallorca Classic > Round 4


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Gregory Bourdy gains maiden European Tour victory

Frenchman Gregory Bourdy became the European Tour's 18th first-time winner this season when he clinched the Mallorca Classic title on Sunday.

Bourdy's closing three-under-par 67 for a 12-under, 268, four-round total left him two shots clear of Britain's Sam Little, whose 67 made sure he kept his European Tour playing card.

Bourdy helped to create a European record: the 18 first-time wins beats by one the previous best return of 2003.

The 25-year-old Bordeaux professional began the final round sharing the lead with Robert-Jan Derksen of the Netherlands but his steadier play, along with important saves over the opening holes, saw him break clear.

After Derksen had drawn level with him briefly, Bourdy took charge with three birdies in five holes from the fifth, rode his luck at the 16th, where his ball just crept over the hazard boundary, and held off a determined Little to pick up the 475,000-dollar first prize.

"This is fantastic to get my first win," said Bourdy, soaked in champagne poured over him by fellow French players on the 18th green.

"I got lucky on the opening holes, they were three big pars. "After that my game was much better."

Bourdy's choice of an iron off the tee at 16 left him in the rough with two stretches of water to cross and he watched in dismay at first, thinking his ball had found the latter hazard, but it skipped inches over.

Victory allowed Bourdy to climb 33 places on the European money list to 38th and claim an end-of-season Volvo Masters place next week.

Little had begun the week facing a trip to tour school but his considerable effort hauled him from 136th place on the money list to 76th spot and safety among the 117 qualifiers for cards.

A tearful Little told reporters: "It was my great escape. But playing like I have this week, showed me I was good enough not to have to struggle like I have."

His playing partner and fellow Briton Richard Finch did enough, too, with seventh place, to haul himself up the money list and survive.

Briton Lee Slattery finished one place below the safety line by just 76 euro while another Briton, Ian Garbutt, who had just squeezed in at this event last year, lost out by 188 euro.



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