Hunter on high after first title

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The Independent Online
Adam Hunter of Glasgow, never higher than fifth on the European tour since turning professional in 1984, won the Portuguese Open at Penha Longa yesterday at the first hole of a play-off with Ulster's Darren Clarke.

The 31-year-old splashed out of a bunker to five feet and sank the birdie putt to collect the £50,000 first prize - eight times more than he won in his first six years on the circuit.

Half an hour earlier, Hunter thought he might have blown his chance when he missed an eight-foot eagle putt at the last. Dublin's Paul McGinley was leading at that point, but he had bogeys at four of the last five holes to slip to joint fourth place.

The spotlight turned on Clarke and a 12-foot birdie putt on the short 17th brought him level with Hunter. With the long 18th to come Clarke was favourite, but he drove into rough and left a 20-footer for victory short of the hole.

Tied on 277, 11 under par, they returned to the 18th, where Clarke sent his approach into more rough and Hunter found sand, but the Irishman left his chip short and Hunter stepped in.

Scores, Sporting Digest, page 29

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