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Sunday, 11 August, 2002, 17:18 GMT 18:18 UK
Lawrie dominates Wales Open
Paul Lawrie
Paul Lawrie made up for his play-off loss last year
Paul Lawrie cruised to his fifth European Tour victory in the weather-disrupted Celtic Manor Resort Wales Open on Sunday.

The former Open champion carded two rounds of 70 on the final day after fog, rain and lightning on Friday again played havoc with the 1.1m tournament.

"I am so tired you wouldn't believe it," said Lawrie, who prides himself on his fitness. "I struggled at the end of this morning's round and it was the same thing in the afternoon.

"I knew I needed a good start this afternoon and I got it with those three birdies."


I was coasting for a while but the game got back at me
Paul Lawrie

It gave the 33-year-old from Aberdeen a 16-under-par total of 272 and a five-shot winning margin over John Bickerton, the Midlander's fourth second-place finish.

Bickerton, who played both rounds with Lawrie, said: "I was never going to catch Paul. He was hot and played lovely but it is nice to hang on for second spot.

"If I was going to catch him I needed to be in a good frame of mind on the greens, but I wasn't. They were difficult."

Former British amateur champion Mikko Ilonen from Finland was a shot further back in third, with South African Martin Maritz and Australian Lucas Parsons another stroke adrift in fourth.

Lawrie, who lost out in a play-off for the title last year when heavy rain reduced the event to 36 holes, picked up the winner's cheque for 183,000 and a timely confidence boost ahead of next week's USPGA Championship.

The victory enhanced Lawrie's unwanted reputation as a bad-weather golfer.

His first tour win in the 1996 Open Catalonia came when the tournament was reduced to 36 holes because of high winds.

He did master the Shamal winds in Qatar to win over 72 holes in 1999 before his famous win in the windswept Open at Carnoustie a few months later.

Lawrie also won the Dunhill Links Championship last year when more bad weather forced the tournament into a fifth day.

2002 Wales Open runner-up John Bickerton
John Bickerton was unable to close the gap on Lawrie

Even his win in last week's Scottish Matchplay championship was delayed by bad weather, the final moved from Deeside because of flooding to his native Aberdeen, only to be delayed by fog.

He was one of 18 leading players forced to play 36 holes on Sunday after the knock-on effects of Friday's delays, the rest of the field starting their third rounds on Saturday evening.

An eagle on the fifth, where he holed a lob wedge from 105 yards, and two birdies took him out in 32 and in complete control.

After another birdie at the 10th he could afford to drop three shots in five holes coming home to card a third-round 70.

"I let it go a little towards the end," Lawrie added. "I was coasting for a while but the game got back at me a little bit near the end."

That left him five clear of the field and none of his challengers were able to close the gap during the final round, a hat-trick of birdies from the second removing any lingering doubt about the outcome.


Leading final scores and totals in the Celtic Manor Resort Wales Open, Newport (Gbr & Irl unless stated, par 72):

272 Paul Lawrie 67 65 70 70 (183,330); 277 John Bickerton 67 67 73 70 (122,220); 278 Mikko Ilonen (Fin) 70 68 70 70 (68,860); 279 Martin Maritz (Rsa) 71 69 67 72, Lucas Parsons (Aus) 71 69 67 72 (50,820 each); 280 Ian Poulter 71 71 69 69, Paul McGinley 69 71 69 71, Trevor Immelman (Rsa) 68 70 71 71; 281 Jarrod Moseley (Aus) 71 70 69 71, Jean-Francois Remesy (Fra) 73 68 70 70, Bradley Dredge 66 74 70 71, Robert Karlsson (Swe) 70 67 73 71, Richard Green (Aus) 65 69 73 74; 282 Jamie Donaldson 70 73 66 73, Peter Fowler (Aus) 72 70 69 71.
Selected others: 285 Ronan Rafferty 70 75 71 69, Darren Clarke 68 74 72 71; 286 Lee Westwood 72 70 71 73; 287 Sam Torrance 66 73 76 72; 289 Ian Woosnam 70 74 72 73; 293 Phillip Price 73 72 75 73; 294 Costantino Rocca (Ita) 73 70 73 78, Mark Pilkington 74 68 79 73.

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Norman Dabell reports for BBC Sport
"Lawrie had to defy the elements"
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See also:

10 Aug 02 | Golf
09 Aug 02 | Golf
08 Aug 02 | Golf
07 Aug 02 | Golf
26 Jun 02 | Wales
12 Feb 02 | Golf
29 Sep 01 | Golf
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