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Golf Today > Tour Schedules > 2008 > European Tour > Celtic Manor Wales Open > Round 4


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Scott Strange seals wire to wire victory

Australian Scott Strange secured his maiden European Tour title by winning the Wales Open by four strokes at Celtic Manor on Sunday.

Strange, 31, fired a closing seven-under 64 for a 22-under 262 total.

Swede Robert Karlsson, Strange’s only serious challenger in the final round, also closed with a 64 as both players produced a glut of birdies.

Strange, leading the field by three strokes going into the final session and four ahead of Karlsson overnight, was never headed.

The Australian strengthened his position with five birdies in seven holes from the second although Karlsson’s run of six birdies in a row around the turn to draw within two strokes of the lead meant Strange could not afford to falter.

But Karlsson, the 2006 winner, found water to bogey the 14th and his assault on the title faded away.

“I had no idea how Robert was doing or anyone else until when we walked to the 16th tee I asked my caddie if I was in the lead and he told me we had it by four,” Strange told reporters.

The winner from Perth, bettering his Johnnie Walker Classic second place in early-season, took charge of the event with an opening 63 over the Twenty Ten course that will host the 2010 Ryder Cup and never looked back.

Even a bout of worrying dizziness on Saturday late in his round was forgotten as he charged to victory.

“I was still a bit dodgy and not 100 percent when I teed off but as the day progressed I got better and better,” he added.

“This win will mean the world to my family and put a smile on a special person’s face.”

Consolation for Karlsson came with a rise to second place on Europe’s money-list and consolidation on Europe’s Ryder Cup table.

Frenchman Raphael Jacquelin birdied the final hole for a 68 to secure third place on his own on 14-under.

Britons Darren Clarke, Nick Dougherty and Benn Barham, Italian Francesco Molinari and Argentine Rafa Echenique tied for fourth a further stroke back.


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