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Raphael Jacquelin claims narrow victory

France’s Raphael Jacquelin ended a four-year wait for his third European Tour title by winning the weather-delayed Sicilian Open on Monday.

A 2 1/2 -hour delay due to lightning Sunday forced the leaders to play an extra day and Jacquelin held off a spirited challenge from England’s Anthony Wall in the tournament’s inaugural edition.

Only one shot separated the pair when darkness forced them to abandon play through 12 holes Sunday.

Wall twice wiped out the deficit early Monday morning, but double bogeyed the penultimate hole to give the 36-year-old Jacquelin the $235,000 winner’s prize.

Jacquelin finished at 12 under, with Wall one shot back.

Jose Manuel Lara of Spain and Joel Sjoholm of Sweden tied for third, five shots back, on the Donnafugata Golf Resort & Spa course.

Jacquelin’s previous win came at the Asian Open in 2007, and this victory vaults him back into the top 100 of the world rankings.

“It feels great, as you would expect it to feel,” Jacquelin said. “But it was not easy. Anthony made a couple of birdies and put the pressure on me right from the start.

“I actually felt a little bit tired this morning and my ball-striking wasn’t as good as it has been but I suppose with a 5 a.m. wake-up call then I was expecting that. But I stayed patient and made a good birdie on the 14th which was perfect and then he made a mistake on 17 and that was it, although I had to make a good four at the last.”

With local standouts Francesco and Edoardo Molinari and Matteo Manassero not entered, the top Italian finisher was 25-year-old Lorenzo Gagli in a tie for fifth, seven shots back.

Winning Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie finished in a tie for 26th, 10 shots behind.

The tour heads to Spain for the Andalucia Open in Malaga.

Raphael Jacquelin leads heading to Monday finish

France’s Raphael Jacquelin held a one-shot lead over England’s Anthony Wall when final-round play at the inaugural Sicilian Open was suspended because of darkness Sunday.

A lightning storm before the leaders teed off at the Donnafugata Golf Resort & Spa slowed down play. The year’s first European Tour event on European soil will be completed Monday.

Seeking his first tour title since 2007, Jacquelin bogeyed his final hole, the par-5 12th, and stood at 11-under. Wall birdied the 12th, with Spain’s Jose Manuel Lara another shot back through 15 holes.

Sweden’s Joel Sjoholm is fourth at 7-under with the clubhouse lead

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