Rocca's capitulation

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The Independent Online
Costantino Rocca missed more putts this week than you could imagine, but the most important one was the one at the last. Needing a birdie to match Per-Ulrik Johansson, Rocca had driven into the rough, laid up and then pitched to 15 feet.

The putt, unlike that one on the last green of the Open last year, never looked like finding the hole, missing on the right. Johansson made his run late with birdies at the last two holes. He rolled in a 10-footer on the 17th and only just missed from 35 feet for an eagle at the last. Getting a par at the treacherous 16th was the key. "I thought if I could do that, I could birdie the last two, and I did," he said.

Johansson had only one previous top-10 finish in Europe, plus an eighth place in the US PGA. "I have been hitting the ball badly all year and came here expecting to miss the cut," the Swede, a member of last year's Ryder Cup team, said after his third tour victory.

"I almost did not come and the last time I won at the Czech Open two years ago, it was the same," Johansson added. "I wasn't swinging great, but I really wanted to win in order to get into the Volvo Masters. I have not missed that tournament since I turned pro in 1991 and I did not see why that should stop now."

Paul Broadhurst, the overnight leader with Rocca, faded from the scene after chipping in for an eagle at the first to take a two-shot advantage. Instead, Roger Chapman, with five seconds but no firsts in 16 years on tour, made a spirited comeback from three successive bogeys on the front nine. He came home in 31 on a back nine he played in 13 under for the week, to share fourth place with Scotland's Andrew Coltart.

Colin Montgomerie extended his lead at the top of the money list despite his rival Ian Woosnam shooting a best of the day 67. Montgomerie returned a 68 to finish two shots ahead of the Welshman. "I have widened the gap in each of the last four weeks and as long as I put pressure on him, that is the main thing," Montgomerie said.

Woosnam has had treatment on his back each day in the physiotherapy unit and is more hopeful of playing in this week's Linde German Masters in Berlin, the last official event he and Montgomerie will play before the season-ending Volvo Masters. "If I'm feeling half decent, I will play in Germany," Woosnam said. Montgomerie, for one, expects him to be playing.

Robert Allenby, in third place in the Order of Merit, will miss the rest of the season after fracturing his sternum in a car crash on Spain's Costa del Sol. The Australian went south for a rest after having to withdraw from this tournament with strained ligaments in an ankle caused by a fall last week at Loch Lomond.

No other vehicle was involved when Allenby's car left the road approaching a roundabout on Saturday morning. The only passenger, his manager Andrew Ramsey, suffered mild shock but no injuries.

"I'm very lucky to be alive," Allenby said. "I only came down here for a few days rest. Now, I'm not sure whether I will be able to play again this year."

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