Donald's Swedish win boosts wild-card hopes

Luke Donald cruised to his first European Tour title in the Scandinavian Masters yesterday to enhance his claims for a Ryder Cup wild-card.

Donald carded a final-round 69 for a 16-under-par total of 272 at Barseback, five shots clear of the Swedes Peter Hanson and Henrik Stenson. Colin Montgomerie and Ian Poulter shared fourth place on nine under after closing rounds of 67 and 65 respectively.

Donald collected the first prize of £176,000 and a two-year exemption and gave the European captain Bernhard Langer a timely reminder of his abilities ahead of the Ryder Cup at Oakland Hills next month.

The 26-year-old Englishman is still well outside the automatic qualifying places but is vying for one of the two wild-cards available to Langer - with Montgomerie expected to receive the other when the team is announced at the end of the month.

Poulter came home in 31 in his 65 to boost his chances of qualifying automatically. The 27-year-old, who missed out by one place three years ago, began the week in the final qualifying position but moved up one place and will take next week off to ensure he does not miss out again.

Scandinavian Masters (Malmo, Swe) Leading final scores (GB or Irl unless stated): 272 L Donald 69 65 69 69. 277 H Stenson (Swe) 68 70 70 69; P Hanson (Swe) 72 66 68 71. 279 C Montgomerie 72 68 72 67; I Poulter 72 68 74 65. 280 D Lynn 72 68 69 71. 281 S Khan 70 69 72 70. 282 D Howell 67 71 74 70; Peter Lawrie 72 74 72 64; A Scott (Aus) 72 71 70 69; M Siem (Ger) 71 74 69 68; N Fasth (Swe) 71 71 70 70; J Parnevik (Swe) 69 70 71 72; S Webster 68 74 68 72. Selected: 284 N Faldo 71 72 69 72; P McGinley 69 68 74 73. 285 T Levet (Fr) 69 71 72 73.

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