Butterfield upset to lose play-off but earns Tour return

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The Independent Online

The event at the Le Meridien Moscow Country Club is co-sanctioned between the main and Challenge Tours - although it will be elevated to the élite schedule next year - but as one of the richer prizes for second-tier players it provides a huge incentive.

Butterfield certainly saw the opportunity on the back nine of his final round as he carded an eagle and four birdies to put him in the lead at 15 under after a six-under round of 66.

The third-round leader Lundberg had been sitting pretty at 16 under but a bogey at the 399-yard 14th dropped him back and then he recovered from sand at the 18th only to miss a five-foot birdie putt which would have given him victory.

He finished with a 69 and the duo went back down the 18th - three times in fact as they both went par-bogey-par - before the action switched to the par-five 17th.

Butterfield left himself an impossible chip with his third after finding the rough on the short left side and finished the full width of the green away from the flag.

Lundberg rolled his long eagle putt to within 18 inches and when Butterfield could not hole his 30-foot birdie attempt, the Swede tapped in to earn a European Tour exemption until the end of 2006.

"This is so special, it is a dream come true," Lundberg said. "I came out today and tried to stick to my game plan and I did and it felt good.

"Andrew played some great golf on the back nine and caught up with me. I could have gone for the green in two on 15 and 17 [both par fives] but it was risky and I decided to play safe as I couldn't afford to take any chances."

Butterfield, who picked up a cheque for £31,299, had mixed emotions after going so close to his first victory.

"I was a little bit disappointed because I played well. Play-offs are a fickle thing. I wish I had hit a better chip on 17 but I did all I could and at the end Mikael won it with a birdie. I can't be disappointed with losing in that manner," he said.

"I'm sure I have done enough to win a card next year so I'm delighted that I will be back on the European Tour."

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