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Last Updated: Sunday, 9 October 2005, 17:48 GMT 18:48 UK
Bickerton secures first Tour win
FINAL LEADERBOARD
John Bickerton
GB&Ire unless stated
-10 J Bickerton
-5 S Little, M Kirk (SA)
-4 M Roe, M Warren, J Axgren (Swe)
England's John Bickerton claimed his first European Tour title at the 287th attempt with victory in the Canaries Open in Tenerife.

The 35-year-old from Droitwich, five times a runner-up, won by five strokes from Stuart Little and South African Michael Kirk.

He needed a top-five finish to avoid returning to the qualifying school.

But he sealed the 51,104 first prize with a closing 68 to finish on a 10-under total of 274.

"Finally," a relieved Bickerton said afterwards. "It feels fantastic, awesome. It's been a long time coming and I've been very worried about my place on tour.

"It's your career, your future lies on this game and a few quid makes such a difference. I moved down five spots last week, but it made me more determined and it's nice to pull it off under pressure."

Leading by one overnight, Bickerton took himself clear by playing the first 10 holes in three under and after three-putting the short 12th, he bounced back with a pitch to two feet.

The former England boy and youth international drove into the trees at the 413-yard 15th and had to chop out, but he saved par with an eight-foot putt to calm his nerves.


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