Karlsson resists surge by Westwood for Qatar title

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The Independent Online

Robert Karlsson completed a stunning comeback after his career-threatening eye injury with a comprehensive three-stroke win at the Qatar Masters yesterday.

After becoming the first Swedish player to be named European No 1 in 2008, Karlsson was sidelined for four months last year suffering from blurred vision caused by fluid behind the retina in his left eye.

But at Doha Golf Club the 40-year-old was back to the best which saw him win twice in 2008 to ensure a second successive Ryder Cup appearance.

Karlsson produced the round of the week to win with a stylish bogey-free seven-under-par final round.

"The focus this year was to come back and start to put together good rounds," said Karlsson, following his 10th career title. "That's the thing I am most happy with. It's not really the win, but to play four really good rounds together."

Karlsson had produced hints he was returning to form at the end of last year after losing in a play-off in Japan before claiming a second-placed finish alongside Henrik Stenson at the World Cup in China. "It has surprised me a little," he added. "Especially the way I played during the final round."

After beginning the day two shots adrift, Karlsson shared a one-shot lead with Bradley Dredge at the turn, but as the Welshman's challenge faltered, Lee Westwood mounted a late bid with a run of four birdies in five holes.

Westwood trailed his playing partner by one shot with four holes to play but he was becoming increasingly frustrated with a new driver after cracking the face of his previous club during the third round. Westwood's challenge ended with a three-putt bogey with two holes to play, the Englishman eventually sharing third place behind Spain's Alvaro Quiros.