David Lynn captured his first European Tour title at the 168th attempt with an eventful three-stroke victory at the Dutch Open yesterday.
He began the day three shots behind the overnight leader, Richard Green, but three birdies on the front nine drew him level with the Australian and a birdie on the 14th, where he pitched to six feet, put him in front.
"You have got to make key putts and some went for me today," Lynn said. "There were a couple out there that Greenie could have made and it just changes the whole thing. You just have to make those crucial putts at the time and then hang on."
Lynn had a remarkable escape on the par-four 16th as his drive found trees on the right but he scrambled a par with a 15ft putt. However, Green pitched into a greenside bunker at the same hole and failed to get up and down to go two behind.
With Green still two shots adrift going into the final hole, Lynn made a birdie to finish at 16 under, while Green could only make par, to finish three shots back. A maiden Tour title was on its way to Stoke. The win made Lynn the 11th first-time winner on the European Tour this season and the fourth in as many weeks.
It was an emotional experience for the 30-year-old Lynn. "I feel absolutely awesome," he said. "I was getting a bit carried away going down 17 and there was a tear in my eye. I had to pull myself together, which I did because I had to finish the job off."
Paul McGinley, still aiming for a Ryder Cup place, finished joint second at 13 under par after a final round of 65, which equates to 104,225 very useful points towards his bid to make the team for Oakland Hills.
On the women's side of the game, Karen Stupples carded a three-under-par 68 to open up a three-shot lead over Marilyn Lovander after the third round of the Jamie Farr Classic in Ohio. The 31-year-old, who led after the first round, completed 54 holes at the Highland Meadows Golf Club at eight under on 205.
Stupples last week became the first Englishwoman to win the Women's British Open in 13 years and earlier this year she won the season-opening Welch's-Fry's Championship for her first victory on the LPGA Tour.
"I was very patient and took every shot as it came," Stupples said, adding of last night's scheduled final round: "I'm just going to try to play my own game. Obviously, I have a bit of a lead so I'll play the way I want to play."
In Stockholm, Annika Sorenstam won her fifth title on home soil with a record-breaking final-round 64 to capture the HP Open. The world No 1 racked up her sixth victory of the season and 71st of her 12-year career finishing on a 13-under-par 275, two shots ahead of compatriot and Solheim Cup partner Carin Koch, who battled bravely for a four-under par 68.
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