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Last Updated: Sunday, 30 January, 2005, 09:54 GMT
Dougherty secures Singapore title
FINAL LEADERBOARD
Nick Dougherty
GB unless stated
-18 Nick Dougherty
-13 Colin Montgomerie, Maarten Lafeber (Ned)
-11 Thomas Bjorn (Den)
-8 Robert Coles, Marcus Fraser (Aus), Gregory Havret (Fra), Peter Lawrie (Ire), Wen-Chong Liang (Chi), Lee Westwood
Selected others
-4
Graeme McDowell
+1 David Howell
England's Nick Dougherty held off the challenge of defending champion Colin Montgomerie to land his maiden European Tour title at the Singapore Masters.

The 22-year-old, a long-time pupil of Nick Faldo, took the lead from Montgomerie at halfway and hung on to win by five shots on 18 under.

Dougherty carded a final-round 67 as the Scot handed in 70 to share second with Dutchman Maarten Lafeber.

Denmark's Thomas Bjorn stayed at 11 under after a level-par 72.

England's Lee Westwood and Ireland's Peter Lawrie were among the chasing pack on eight under.

It was an impressive effort from Nick and he deserves his win
Colin Montgomerie

"I'm absolutely delighted. When you're playing with Colin and Thomas you really don't think it's over until it's over," said Dougherty.

"Hopefully this is start of many great things to come."

Dougherty led seven-time European number one Montgomerie and former Ryder Cup star Bjorn by two shots overnight but the Wentworth-based Dane quickly fell back with a double bogey at the long second.

But the tournament really swung on the par-four 16th.

Dougherty, on 16 under, was leading Montgomerie by one stroke, and Bjorn by three, but hooked his drive left before a favourable free drop from the lip of a bunker helped him scramble for a birdie three.

Colin Montgomerie
Montgomerie found himself three down after the 16th

Montgomerie, meanwhile, ran up a bogey five after three-putting and found himself three shots down.

On the short 17th, Dougherty found the green as Montgomerie leaked his tee shot left.

The 41-year-old was forced to chip out sideways from the downslope of a bunker but holed his third shot from off the green for a par.

Bjorn's challenge had gone and he ran-up a double bogey via the water.

Dougherty, though, took his regulation two putts and birdied the 18th to lift the title.

"It was an impressive effort from Nick and he deserves his win and all good luck to him," Montgomerie said.

"It was never going to be my day and when the ruling happened on the 16th, I knew that was going to be the case."

Liverpool's Dougherty was taken under Faldo's wing when the former world number one spotted him at one of his junior coaching clinics.

Dougherty went on to become a key member of the victorious 2001 GB&I Walker Cup team and turned professional the following week.

He was forced to go to Tour School at the end of the season but in his first full year on Tour in 2002 he finished 36th on the Order of Merit, winning the prestigious Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year award.

His 2003 season was hampered by glandular fever but he finished 60th in Europe before slipping back to 97th in 2004.





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