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Last Updated: Sunday, 4 June 2006, 15:43 GMT 16:43 UK
Karlsson keeps composure to win
FINAL LEADERBOARD
Robert Karlsson
(GB&I unless stated)
-16 R Karlsson (Swe)
-13 P Broadhurst
-12 JP Lima (Por)
-11 C Montgomerie
-10 P Archer, J Skold (Swe)
Selected others:
-9 B Dredge, S Dyson, G Orr
-7 S Dodd
-5 D Park
Swede Robert Karlsson survived a mid-round stumble to win the Celtic Manor Wales Open by three shots.

The Swede, 36, closed with a two-over par 71, but a six-shot overnight lead saw him clear of Paul Broadhurst (68), who birdied the last to claim second.

Jose-Filipe Lima was a big mover on the final day, a 64 giving him third place, one clear of Colin Montgomerie (67).

The home challenge was led by Bradley Dredge, the Gwent man firing 64 to finish in joint seventh.

Monaco-based Karlsson's 250,000 win was his sixth European Tour title, but his first since 2002.

His 364,352 points for winning hauled him into ninth place on Europe's Ryder Cup table, of which 10 qualify automatically in September.

He had moved eight ahead after three holes of the final round, but saw his lead slashed to three shots after a run of four bogeys in nine holes.

The 6ft 5in Swede regained his composure to birdie three of the next four and eventually signed for a 16-under-par total of 260.

I was not enjoying life on tour, I questioned whether I should keep doing it or pack it in

Robert Karlsson on his barren run

That was the culmination of a week of low scoring at the Roman Roads course, at 6,743 yards the shortest used on the European Tour.

Phillip Archer came agonisingly close to a 59 on the opening day, eventually settling for a 60.

Rounds of 61, 63 and 65 on the first three days saw Karlsson beat the 36-hole and 54-hole Tour records.

Karlsson hopes he can now kick on and qualify for the Ryder Cup after he missed out in 1999, finishing 11th in the standings but being overlooked for a wild card by then-captain Mark James.

"It was heartbreaking when it happened," said the Swede.

"I'm in a privileged position to play golf for a living but I was not enjoying life on tour, I questioned whether I should keep doing it or pack it in.

"So in 2003 I started seeing a life coach, a Swedish woman named Ann Christene Lundstrom, and I'm a lot happier now in my relationships with everyone, from my family to my caddie.

"The Ryder Cup would be a fantastic bonus but something which is a by-product of playing well.

"There are so many good players outside the team trying to get in and I'll probably need to win again to make it."

SEE ALSO
Wales Open - former winners
01 Jun 06 |  Golf
BBC Wales Sport coverage
01 May 06 |  Wales


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