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Golf Today > Tour Schedules > 2008 > European Tour > Volvo China Open > Round 4


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Damien McGrane coasts to maiden victory

Ireland’s Damien McGrane won the China Open by nine strokes on Sunday to clinch his first European Tour title.

McGrane, who carried a three-stroke lead into the final day, held firm where others succumbed to the wet conditions, firing a one-over 73 to finish with a 10-under total of 278 at the CBD International course.

Britons Oliver Wilson and Simon Griffiths, and France’s Michael Lorenzo-Vera tied for second on 287, with holder Markus Brier of Austria, Mark Brown of New Zealand and Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell one stroke further back.

“I’m absolutely overjoyed obviously. To be honest, it’s just an amazing feeling to win my first tournament,” McGrane told reporters.

“This week everything went my way. I had good fortune, I loved the course—the bad weather didn’t put me off my game today, so it was everything I’ve ever expected,” said McGrane, wearing a golden traditional Chinese jacket.

The Irishman’s short game, which helped carve out a lead amid swirling cross-breezes on Saturday, was on song again in the final round.

“I knew that if the weather turned everybody would need their short game and would have to rely on it,” said McGrane, who turned 37 last week.

Conceding only two dropped shots in his first eight holes, McGrane delivered a death-blow to nearest challenger Lorenzo-Vera on the ninth, chipping in for birdie after landing his approach shot fortuitously between two bunkers.

The shot saw McGrane pull four strokes clear of the Frenchman, who quickly ceased to be a threat after dropping four shots on his next five holes.

“To win golf tournaments, you see it happen every week. Possibly that was my moment where I won the Volvo China Open,” McGrane said.

McGrane cemented the win with a birdie on the 11th, holding six consecutive pars as the rain continued to fall, before conceding a bogey on the last.

The victory gave McGrane 232,121 euros ($367,300), lifting him to sixth on the European money list, and capped a rich vein of form including a top-10 finish at the Portuguese Open earlier this month, and runner-up at the Indian Masters in February.


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