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Golf Today > Tour Schedules > 2008 > European Tour > Mercedes Championship > Round 4
 

MERCEDES CHAMPIONSHIP RELATED STORIES





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Robert Karlsson clinches two shot victory

Robert Karlsson clinched a timely first win for over two years when he took the Mercedes Benz Championship on Sunday, the day before flying to Kentucky for the Ryder Cup.

A closing one-under-par 71 at Gut Larchenhof for a four-round 13-under-par 275 total earned the Swede his eighth European Tour victory. He finished two strokes better than a charging Francesco Molinari of Italy (70).

Spain’s Miguel Angel Jimenez, Karlsson’s Ryder Cup team mate, finished third for a second successive week, four strokes behind Karlsson.

Karlsson went into the final day three shots ahead of the field and a birdie at the first quickly made up the stroke he had lost the previous day. He was penalised after the third round when it was decided his ball had moved when his putter was grounded on the second green on Saturday.

After allowing his final day advantage to be cut to only two shots with bogeys on the third and fourth holes, Karlsson regained full control, extending his lead to six strokes by the seventh.

Molinari refused to allow Karlsson an easy passage, though, and a bogey on the short 16th reduced the Swede’s lead over his Italian playing-partner to only two strokes to cause a few flutters.

Molinari had run in four successive birdies from the 12th to keep the pressure on. However Karlsson refused to be denied victory this time after a season of near-misses and pars on 17 and 18 were enough to earn him the $475,000 first prize.

Karlsson said he was relieved on two counts—coming through a test from Molinari and finally collecting his first title of the season.

“I had to try to rise to the challenge from Francesco but it’s not easy when he’s holing putts from 40ft,” Karlsson told reporters.

“But it was good for this week coming. These are the tests you have to learn from…

“It would have felt a bit strange to walk off at the end of this season without a win.”

Before his win Karlsson had finished second twice, third three times and acquitted himself well in three majors, with a fourth place in the U.S. Open, seventh in the British Open and eighth in the U.S. Masters.

Jimenez (66), also third the previous week in Switzerland, came through the field with six birdies on an unblemished card.

Briton Ross Fisher (70) who came close to qualifying for a Ryder Cup place, and 2005 U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell of New Zealand (70) shared third place with Jimenez.

All four Ryder Cup men in Germany finished in the top 20. Dane Soren Hansen’s 69 left him six-under 282 in eighth place, while Briton Graeme McDowell, like Hansen making his debut for Europe next week, carded a 71 to be two-under 286 in 16th spot.

Hansen plundered three eagles and 20 birdies, 10 of them in one round, during the week.

 

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