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  Sunday, 22 July, 2001, 20:59 GMT 21:59 UK
Duval against the world
David Duval
Duval stayed focused throughout
BBC Sport Online's Stuart Roach sees David Duval take a victory stroll around Lytham

As David Duval finally emerged from Tiger Woods' shadow, the clouds of gloom descended on Colin Montgomerie.

The Scotsman's quest for a first Major evaporated in a woeful weekend, though he smiled bravely through the pain.

Instead, it was Duval who finally shook off the tag of greatest player never to win a Major.

But it was not just the capitulation of Monty that strikes fear into golf fans on the European side of the Atlantic.

Sunday had dawned with the promise of a British victory. Even shorter odds were offered on a European day of glory.

Colin Montgomerie
Monty's Major wait goes on
As 19 players stood within two shots of the lead, the field began to take on the image of a links course Ryder Cup.

But if Sunday provides any pointers to September's Belfry battle, then European fans should be afraid.

Be very afraid.

Of that top 19, 10 were potential European Ryder Cup stars.

In the American contingent of four, Billy Mayfair, Billy Andrade and Joe Ogilvie are hardly likely to figure in the US team, leaving Duval to wage a single-handed war with his European rivals.

One by one, the Europeans dropped away.

Woosnam's demise would have been comical had it not been so heartbreaking.

An extra club in the bag was almost wrapped around his caddy's head as Woosnam lost two shots, his rag and the chance to challenge Duval.

Without the penalty, Woosnam would have virtually assured his place in the Ryder Cup team.

Darren Clarke announced his challenge with an eagle at the sixth.

At 17, and standing two behind Duval, Clarke lit up a fat cigar.

Darren Clarke
Clarke's challenge went up in smoke
It may as well have been the blue touch paper as his challenge immediately exploded with a double bogey six.

Miguel Angel Jiminez went the same way, climbing to eight under at the 13th then falling away as the pressure mounted.

Langer, with as much German reliability as a BMW, ticked along without ever setting off the fireworks required to mount a challenge.

Sergio Garcia and Jesper Parnevik, a sensational team in Brookline, both needed big finishes to boost their hopes of an automatic place on this year's team.

Neither got higher than six under.

And then there was Monty. Poor old Monty.

On Saturday, he split his trousers and lost his lead. On Sunday, he rarely looked like repairing the damage.

Putting has been his problem, as it has with Duval, and his game was once again wide of the mark this weekend.

Only Sweden's Niclas Fasth withstood the pressure, carding a final-round 67 to guarantee his place on the European Ryder Cup line-up.

His place in the team means as many as six of the automatic European team qualifiers could be rookies.

Niclas Fasth
Fasth booked his Ryder Cup spot with second spot
That hardly augers well for Europe's chances of regaining the trophy at The Belfry. Nor does the Europeans' failure to prevent Duval from striding unchallenged to the title.

This was Duval against the world - and the American won with frightening ease.

What should have been a cavalry charge for the line developed into a victory parade around Lytham's treacherous closing holes.

Half a dozen holes from home, the focused Duval furiously chewed tobacco until his gums bled.

By the time he reached the 18th, he looked so relaxed he could have been taking a stroll down Blackpool pier.

After playing his second to within 10 feet, Duval was mobbed by fans swarming to get a decent vantage point in front of the 18th.

In this kind of form, those same fans may just have to pin him down to stop him wrecking Europe's Ryder Cup dream.

The 130th Open, at Royal Lytham

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