Golf: Lanner ends long wait: Clark blows chances in the wind

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The Independent Online
Mats Lanner, of Sweden, ended a seven-year wait for his second European Tour victory when he won the Madeira Island Open by two strokes at Santo da Serra yesterday.

The Richmond-based Lanner took the first title of the new season - cut to 54 holes because of low- cloud delays on each of the first three days - with a closing round of 69 for a 10-under-par total of 206.

'Obviously you have your doubts, but deep down I thought that some time I would crack it and win again,' Lanner, 32, said. His last victory had been in the Epson Grand Prix match-play event at St Pierre in 1987. The second-round leader, Howard Clark (who was looking to end six years without a success) paid a heavy price for bogeys on the 13th and 15th. The 39- year-old Yorkshireman had to sink an eight-foot birdie putt two holes later to share second place with two more Swedes, Peter Hedblom and Mathias Gronberg.

'I made a couple of poor judgements in the wind,' Clark said, 'but the real problem was my putting. I had less than half an idea what was happening on the greens.'

The third round had been interrupted by poor visibility on Saturday with Clark, Lanner and Hedblom sharing the lead. Lanner resumed yesterday with a 25ft putt on the 10th - and he was never caught.

Lanner's lodger in Richmond, Joakim Haeggman, became the first Swedish golfer to make the Ryder Cup last year. That distinction could have belonged to Lanner in 1987, but he missed out on the European team by one place.

Scores, Sporting Digest, page 35