Inkster leaves Jones trailing

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The Independent Online

Juli Inkster cruised to the biggest prize in European women's golf with a brilliant final round of seven-under-par 65 at the Evian Masters here yesterday.

The 43-year-old American posted a record-winning score of 21-under-par 267 on Saturday to claim the trophy by six shots from the 21-year-old South Korean, Hee Won Han, who closed with a 69. The Mexican rookie, Lorena Ochoa, and the American Rosie Jones tied for third on 13 under.

Inkster, after a course record third-round 64, started the final day tied with Jones, but a birdie at the first, three in a row from the seventh and more at the 14th, 17th and 18th sealed the easy win. "I played great all week and this is a fantastic victory," said the first American to win the title. "It's also the perfect result going into next week's British Open."

Janice Moodie was the top Briton, closing with a 74 that secured a tie for 19th place as she continued her comeback from a severe shoulder injury that has ruined her early season. "I'm definitely getting better and my form is returning," the Scot said. "I played well all week but just didn't hole enough putts."

Laura Davies, the only Briton to have won this title, was never seriously in the hunt to add to her wins in 1995 and 1996. A final round of 70 left her well down the field, 25 shots behind Inkster.

The world No 1, Annika Sorenstam, closed with a 69 for a tie for 17th on seven under, but already has her eye on the British Open starting at Royal Lytham St Anne's on Thursday.

EVIAN MASTERS (Evian Les Bains, Fr) Leading final scores (GB and Irl unless stated): 267 J Inkster (US) 66 72 64 65. 273 Hee Won Han (S Kor) 71 68 65 69. 275 L Ochoa (Mex) 66 70 71 68; R Jones (US) 67 68 67 73. 276 K Webb (Aus 70 70 68 68. 277 Se Ri Pak (S Kor) 70 72 66 69. Selected: 281 A Sorenstam (Swe) 72 73 67 69. 282 P Meunier Lebouc (Fr) 73 67 74 68; J Moodie 68 71 69 74. 283 J Head 73 73 70 67. 286 B Morgan 73 73 70 70. 288 T Johnson 75 72 72 69. 291 C Matthew 72 75 71 73. 292 L Davies 70 76 76 70; M McKay 73 74 70 75.

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