Golf: Victory ends barren spell for Romero: Italian and Lady Keystone Opens

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The Independent Online
EDUARDO ROMERO, from Argentina, held off Greg Turner, the defending champion, to win the Tisettanta Italian Open in the Rome sunshine yesterday.

Turner, the brother of former New Zealand cricket captain Glenn, shot 65, but Romero, trying to end nearly three years without a win in Europe, recorded 67 and on the 16-under-par total of 272 triumphed by a single stroke.

The overnight leader Fredrik Lindgren, of Sweden, was third, two shots further back, and Paul Eales, who would have gone top of Europe's Order of Merit if he had taken the pounds 75,000 first prize, shared fourth place after a 71.

Turner caught Romero when he sank a 40-foot putt for his eighth birdie of the day at the long 17th, but the 39-year-old South American birdied the 15th and parred the final three holes.

At the difficult 460-yard last Romero drove into rough and was 45 feet from the flag in two. When his first putt rolled seven feet past Turner probably sensed the chance of a play-off, but Romero slotted in the return to win. 'I was very nervous all day and especially over that last putt,' Romero said. 'It's so long since I won that I didn't sleep last night.'

Lindgren, one ahead at the start of the day, increased that to two when he played a 25-yard chip to six inches on the long first. However, Romero, having made par there, holed from seven feet on the short second, drew level with an eagle at the next and then went ahead with another seven-footer on the 375-yard fourth.

Lindgren was still only one behind with six to play, but bogeyed the 13th after a poor drive and knew his hopes of a first tour win had probably gone when he drove into sand at the 15th and dropped another shot while Romero was hitting his birdie.

TISETTANTA ITALIAN OPEN (Marco Simone, Rome) Leading final scores (GB or Irl unless stated): 272 E Romero (Arg) 69 67 69 67. 273 G Turner (NZ) 69 69 70 65. 275 F Lindgren (Swe) 71 64 69 71. 276 R Allenby (Aus) 70 71 69 66; P Teravainen (US) 71 73 65 67; A Forsbrand (Swe) 73 69 66 68; J Bland (SA) 70 67 69 70; P Eales 65 70 70 71. 277 R Lee 71 68 69 69. 278 M Harwood (Aus) 71 72 69 66; F Nobilo (NZ) 70 66 72 70; T Price (Aus) 73 67 68 70. 279 P Affleck 71 70 69 69. 280 J Spence 70 72 71 67; R Rafferty 67 71 73 69. 281 M Mackenzie 72 67 73 69; H Clark 70 69 73 69; B Nelson (US) 69 70 72 70; R Boxall 68 71 69 73. 282 S Bennett 70 69 72 71. 283 J M Olazabal (Sp) 70 71 74 68; O Karlsson (Swe) 72 73 69 69; R Alvarez (Arg) 73 72 70 68; W Riley (Aus) 68 70 73 72; D W Basson (SA) 71 70 70 72. 284 C Stromberg (Swe) 72 72 71 69; S Grappasonni (It) 70 72 72 70; P O'Malley (Aus) 67 71 71 75.

EUROPEAN TOUR ORDER OF MERIT: 1 C Montgomerie pounds 151,854.58; 2 S Ballesteros (Sp) pounds 121,808.04; 3 J M Olazabal (Sp) pounds 108,072.04; 4 E Els (SA) pounds 99,350; 5 P Eales pounds 97,536.39; 6 H Clark pounds 91,488.22; 7 P Price (Wal) pounds 88,906.88; 8 E Romero (Arg) pounds 88,542.37; 9 A Forsbrand (Swe) pounds 86,352; 10 J Lomas pounds 84,958.37; 11 I Woosnam pounds 80,000; 12 D Gilford pounds 78,657.79; 13 P Hedblom (Swe) pounds 74,811.86, 14 B Langer (Ger) pounds 72,368.75; 15 N Faldo (Eng) pounds 72,210.

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