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Last Updated: Sunday, 9 July 2006, 17:02 GMT 18:02 UK
Dodd claims European Open victory
Stephen Dodd closed with a two-under-par 70 on Sunday
Dodd closed with a two-under-par 70 on Sunday

-9 S Dodd (Wal)
-7 JM Lara (Sp), A Wall (Eng)
-6 P McGinley (Ire), JM Singh (Ind), G Storm (Eng), L Westwood (Eng), S Khan (Eng)

Wales' Stephen Dodd shot a final-round 70 to win the European Open at the K Club in Ireland's County Kildare.

He finished on nine under par to win by two strokes from overnight leader Jose Manuel Lara and Anthony Wall.

Spaniard Lara closed with a 74 while England's Wall rolled in a swinging birdie putt on the 18th for a 73.

Irishman Paul McGinley and the English trio of Lee Westwood, Graeme Storm and Simon Khan were among five players tied for third a shot further back.

Dodd's victory lifts him from 47th to 16th in the Ryder Cup points standings, and he admitted he would love to play for Europe against the USA at the same K Club venue in September.

"The Ryder Cup's a long way off. There are a lot of tournaments to play and I suppose your form can go as quickly as it comes," he said.

"Of course I'd like to play. It's everybody's dream to play in it."

Overnight leader Lara was still ahead with seven to play, but he then bogeyed three holes in a row and Dodd birdied 16 and 17 to take control.

Lara birdied the same two holes to give himself a slim chance of victory.

He needed an eagle on the 578-yard 18th to tie, but drove into sand and had to lay up short of the water.

That gave Londoner Wall a chance to tie for second and he did it in dramatic fashion with a 35-foot birdie putt - one which qualifies him for the Open at Hoylake in two weeks' time.

One spot for the leading non-exempt player was on offer and with Dodd already in the field, Wall took it ahead of Lara by virtue of having the better last day score, 73 to 74.


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