Golf: Oldcorn secures healthy pay-day

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The Independent Online
ANDREW OLDCORN, whose career was almost ended by a debilitating illness four years ago, kept his nerve to capture his first European title in Cadiz yesterday. The 32-year-old Englishman, who has spent most of his life in Edinburgh, rolled in a five-foot putt for par on the final green to win the Turespana Masters.

It was a triumphant moment for Oldcorn, a sufferer of the fatigue virus Myalgic Encephalomyelitis - ME for short - which left him too exhausted even to climb the stairs at home.

'I'm absolutely ecstatic,' he said. 'After what I went through, it's hard to put into words how great I feel. There was a time in 1989 when I thought I would never play golf again.'

Oldcorn claimed the biggest prize of his career, a cheque for pounds 58,330, with a last-round 71 to hold off the challenge of two powerful hitters in Eduardo Romero and Steve Richardson.

Victory propelled Oldcorn from nowhere to seventh in the Volvo Order of Merit, and more importantly, secured his future on the PGA European Tour for three years. The former Walker Cup player and English amateur champion finished with a three- under-par total of 285, edging out Romero, also 71, by a stroke with the third-round leader Richardson pushed into third place after a 74.

Oldcorn struggle over the gruelling closing stretch on the Novo Sancti Petri course designed by Seve Ballesteros. Whereas Ballesteros failed to complete the 72 holes, Oldcorn kept his composure on another day when high winds troubled the field.

Paul Broadhurst produced the day's best round, a two-under-par 70, to finish alongside Sam Torrance and Colin Montgomerie.

TURESPANA MASTERS (Cadiz) Leading final scores (GB or Irl unless stated): 285 A Oldcorn 70 71 73 71. 286 E Romero (Arg) 68 72 75 71. 287 S Richardson 69 71 73 74. 291 D Basson (SA) 75 71 73 72; I Palmer (SA) 69 77 70 75. 292 C Rocca (It) 77 69 75 71; W Westner (SA) 71 73 75 73. 293 D Smyth 67 79 73 74; J Haeggman (Swe) 69 72 77 75; J-M Olazabal (Sp) 71 71 75 76. 294 B Marchbank 73 73 75 73. 295 S Torrance 74 73 76 72; D Clarke 75 69 78 73; P Broadhurst 76 72 77 70; C Montgomerie 72 74 75 74; B Langer (Ger) 70 72 78 75; E O'Connell 71 72 75 77; A Forsbrand (Swe) 75 71 71 78. 296 J Rivero (Sp) 71 74 77 74; M Sunesson (Swe) 72 71 79 74; O Karlsson (Swe) 74 72 76 74; G Orr 70 76 78 72; J van de Velde (Fr) 75 72 75 74; R Claydon 75 72 73 76. 297 V Fernandez (Arg) 72 72 79 74; C Cassells 74 73 77 73; P Price 77 71 74 75.

VOLVO ORDER OF MERIT: 1 M James pounds 107,040; 2 W Westner (SA) pounds 96,140; 3 N Faldo pounds 95,325; 4 D Gilford pounds 82,835; 5 C Montgomerie pounds 75,337; 6 S Richardson pounds 59,019; 7 A Oldcorn pounds 58,330; 8 D Basson (SA) pounds 57,932; 9 E Romero (Arg) pounds 56,477; 10 S Ames (Trin) pounds 53,572.

RYDER CUP STANDINGS: 1 B Lane 253,271pts; 2 N Faldo 228,527; 3 C Montgomerie 225,590; 4 M James 180,462; 5 J Spence 180,100; 6 S Lyle 172,109; 7 B Langer (Ger) 160,131; 8 M Jiminez (Sp) 155,208; 9 S Richardson 151,108; 10 M Roe 131,993; 11 D Gilford 112,708; 12 R Karlsson (Swe) 109,832.

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