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Murphy's Irish Open
Druids Glen
Dublin
2nd - 5th July 1998

Par 71 Prize Money 1.0 million

Final Round

Carter beats Montgomerie in playoff for Irish Open title

Reuters

Druids Glen, Dublin, 5th July 1998 - David Carter, who needed an emergency operation to save his life in Dubai last year after suffering fluid on the brain, won the Murphy's Irish Open and his first European Tour title in his fourth year the hard way.

He had stormed four shots ahead, but in an understandably nervy finish at the ultra-tough Druids Glen course, the Johannesburg-born Englishman faltered.

His lead melted away in a flurry of late dropped shots but he refused to let the prize slip from his grasp.

After finding water with his second shot from a tricky lie under a tree at the 18th, Carter sank a 20-footer to force a playoff against European number one Colin Montgomerie.

Carter found the green in two on the same hole second time around and it was enough to secure the 159,992 winner's cheque.

Montgomerie's drive at the first extra hole landed in heavy rough and the Scot, seeking an Irish Open hat-trick, went into the lake short of the green with his second.

After Montgomerie just missed the hole with his chip -- his fifth shot -- he conceded defeat.

Carter established his four-shot lead by the turn, following an opening bogey with four birdies, and he was five ahead of Montgomerie with eight holes to go.

But then Carter stumbled. He double-bogeyed the difficult 13th by driving into a stream and bogeyed the long 16th when he found deep grass. In fact, he was lucky to find his ball.

Then came his trial at the last which was to eventually earn him the title.

Both players had finished on six-under-par 278, Montgomerie carding a three-under 68 to Carter's 71.

At last season's Desert Classic, Carter was found in a coma by friends after suffering from fluid on the brain caused by a water sports accident. He needed emergency surgery to relieve pressure on his brain and remove fluid.

Doctors told him he would have died if he had been found an hour later.

After three weeks in hospital and convalescence he came back in April to finish second in the Cannes Open, equalling his own course record 62.

"I owe a lot of people a thousand, thousand thanks," said Carter, "especially my friend Iain Pyman from England who found me unconscious in Dubai and got me to hospital.

"I'm so lucky but I feel this win was just meant to be after what has happened in my life.

"It was obviously going to be difficult for me coming down the stretch, having not won before but I just kept believing in myself.

"I was lucky to find my ball on 16 and only make bogey and then on the last to sink the putt and get up and down to make the playoff, was just as if it was all meant to be."

Montgomerie's consolation was to move back to the top of the European Order of Merit with his 106,632 second prize.

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