It all comes right for Lomas

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The Independent Online
Jonathan Lomas had the day of his life in winning the Chemapol Czech Open with a 72-hole aggregate of 272, 12 under par, at Marianske Lazne yesterday. The 28-year-old Nantwich golfer shot a final-round 66 - including a miracle wedge shot at the last hole - to beat Sweden's Daniel Chopra by a stroke, won pounds 125,000, the biggest cheque of his career, took his first PGA European Tour event and a place in England's Dunhill Cup team.

Lomas could hardly take it all in. Before this week he had won only pounds 48,550 in 24 tournaments, missing the cut in 15 of them, and had failed to qualify for the Open championship. Since April he has been playing with a long- handled putter. He finished joint-third in the Italian Open in May and says he feels more relaxed on the greens.

Yesterday, he began in fourth spot but, though Chopra ran him close, Scotland's Gary Orr, who had been joint overnight leader with the Swede, shot a final-round 74 and the Londoner Peter Mitchell, who had been lying third, also fell away with a 72.

But even more remarkable was the Lomas climb into the English team to compete in the Dunhill Cup at St Andrews in October. Nick Faldo and Lee Westwood had already qualified for the event but Lomas passed 26 others to snatch the third and final place and went from 91st to 16th in the Volvo Ranking.

Lomas, who has only recently recovered from sciatic trouble in both legs, made a great start with three birdies in his first six holes, dropped a shot at the seventh and then had further birdies at the 10th, 11th and 15th.

He thought he had missed his chance when he dropped a shot at the 16th but at the last he hit a wedge from 130 yards which finished 12 inches from the hole. It left Chopra needing a birdie at the 18th to force a play-off but the Swede was inches over the back in two and just missed his 15-yard chip.

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