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Moroccan Open
Golf Royal D'Agadir
Agadir, Morocco
12th - 15th March 1998

Par 72 Prize Money 350,000

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Leaney makes it his first win on the European Tour

Agadir, Morocco, 15th March 1998 - Stephen Leaney, an Australian playing his first full season on the PGA European Tour, shot a 5-under-par 67 today to capture the Moroccan Open by eight strokes.

In recording his first victory on the tour, Leaney was the only player to break 70 in all four rounds and finished with a total of 17-under 271 at the Royal Agadir course. His total was a course record, beating the 275 by England's Mark James in 1995.

"That was the best I've played in my life," Leaney said. "I've been striking the ball really well, but this was the first week everything came together for me."

Sweden's Robert Karlsson shot a 71 to take second, with a 9-under 279. Fellow Swede Mathias Gronberg shot a 74 to slip to third, three shots behind Karlsson.

Spain's Miguel Martin birdied three of the last six holes to tie England's Mark Davis for fourth slot at 284.

Leaney's winning margin was the biggest on the Tour since Zimbabwe's Nick Price won the Dimension Data Pro-Am in Sun City, South Africa by eight shots 13 months ago.

Leaney won 58,330, the biggest of his career, to move him into 11th place in the PGA European Tour money list. He also moved into the top 100 in the World rankings.

Leaney took a four-stroke lead into the final round and quickly stretched it with birdies on the third, fourth and fifth holes.

He hit a 6-iron to eight feet at the third, and then holed from 20 feet at the 4th and 25 feet at the 5th to open an eight-stroke lead over Sweden's Robert Karlsson and England's Mark Davis.

Leaney wedged to 6 feet at the 11th and drained his fifth birdie at the 14th from 20 feet. After bogeying the par-5 15th, he made his sixth birdie on the 17th.

American Tom Gillis fired a 69 to finish at 3-under 285. After shooting a first-round 79, the 29-year-old from Lake Orion, Mich., finished in a three-way tie for sixth and picked up 10,500.

"A 79. Then a 64 which equalled the course-record. A hole-in-one. It's been a kind of a fun week," Gillis said.

The Golf Royal D'Agadir course measures 6086 metres and has a par 72. First prize is 58,330.


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