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Monday, 22 October, 2001, 15:59 GMT 16:59 UK
Lawrie wins Dunhill
Paul Lawrie
Paul Lawrie shares a joke with his caddie
Paul Lawrie produced a stunning 18th hole putt out of the so-called "Valley of Sin" to win the inaugural Dunhill Links Championship by one shot from Ernie Els.

The 1999 Open Champion holed from 40 yards to claim the most lucrative prize ever offered in a British golf tournament - 551,528.

Lawrie gave himself a scare on the penultimate hole, despite being two shots clear with two holes to play.

Els made a 15-foot birdie putt on the last while overnight leader Lawrie three-putted the 17th.

That meant Lawrie, 32, went to the par-four 18th needing to do so again for victory.

Play-off

But when his second shot spun back into the "Valley of Sin", Lawrie's intention was purely to putt in a further two shots - which would have forced a play-off with Els.

Instead he went one better, judging the line perfectly and giving the ball just enough legs to make it up the slope for a winning birdie.

"I was just trying to give myself a chance of a play-off," he said.

"It's been a tough year - but it's good now!"

Progress in the rankings

Lawrie's first title since the Open - which he won just as dramatically - moves the Scot from 33rd back into the top 10 on the Order of Merit and back into the world's top 100.

He won the Open at Carnoustie - just up the coast from St Andrews - with a closing 67 for a six-over par total.

This time he finished with a 68 for an 18-under-par total of 270.

Els - who will rue ending up in the cavernous Road Bunker at the 17th - took home 367,357.

Howell confirmed third place - just ahead of Els' compatriot Jean Hugo - and in doing so climbed into the top 20 of the Volvo Order of Merit.

Howell's efforts were worth just over 200,000.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC golf correspondent Tony Adamson
"The tournament ended in the most dramatic fashion"
Winner Paul Lawrie
"It all turned out good in the end"
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