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Robert Karlsson clinches victory with closing 65

Sweden’s Robert Karlsson won his first individual trophy for 16 months when he captured the Qatar Masters title on Sunday.

The 40-year-old Ryder Cup player shot a closing seven-under-par 65, the lowest round of the week, for a 15-under tally of 273 to finish three ahead of holder Alvaro Quiros of Spain (67).

Briton Lee Westwood, playing alongside Karlsson, saw his chance of victory vanish when he three-putted the par-four 16th for bogey.

Westwood eventually carded a 70 to share third place on 11-under with Australia’s Brett Rumford (69).

Karlsson’s last individual victory was at the Dunhill Links Championship in October 2008 before he ended that year with a World Cup win alongside compatriot Henrik Stenson.

He had to sit out four months in 2009 because of damage to his left eye.

“It was definitely a tough four months because I was hoping I had not lost that much but being out for such a long time, the form was horrible when I actually started playing again,” Karlsson told reporters after landing his 10th European Tour win.

“It was hard not to get down on myself and when I was off I didn’t really know where I was. It’s fantastic to win but to play four really good rounds together, that’s the most satisfying thing.”

Karlsson’s victory took him to second on the European money-list behind South African Charl Schwartzel, and back into the world’s top-20.

Quiros had mixed feelings despite finishing his title defence with a run of three straight birdies.

“I am very pleased with the way I played today but then at the same time I had chances and didn’t take them,” said the Spaniard.

Westwood let his frustration with a replacement driver boil over at the 16th when he missed the fairway ahead of his three putts, having started the hole one stroke behind Karlsson.

Last year’s European number one started the week with a new set of irons but suffered on Saturday when the face of the driver that earned him two wins last year cracked.

“It’s hard to imagine anything else going wrong this week so 11-under is an unbelievable score,” said Westwood.



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