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Last Updated: Sunday, 28 October 2007, 15:43 GMT
Bourdy registers maiden tour win
Gregory Bourdy
Bourdy overcame early nerves to hold off his rivals for the title

FINAL LEADERBOARD:
(GB & Ire unless stated)
-12 G Bourdy (Fr)
-10 Sm Little
-9 R-J Derksen (Ned)
-7 A Forsyth
-6 J Edfors (Swe); Pt Lawrie
Selected others
-4 T Bjorn (Den)
-3 S Garcia (Sp)

Frenchman Gregory Bourdy held off the challenge of England's Sam Little to win the Mallorca Classic with a three-under-par final round 67 at Pula.

The 25-year-old produced a bogey-free round to finish two strokes clear with a 12-under total of 268.

Little's hopes of victory faded when he three-putted for a bogey at 15, but four birdies also earned him a 67 and secured his tour card for 2008.

Dutchman Robert-Jan Derksen (70) took third place on nine-under.

And Derksen, who had shared the lead with Bourdy after three rounds, was followed home on seven-under by Scotland's Alastair Forsyth, who sank six birdies in an excellent 66.

There was disappointment for Spanish fans, however, as Sergio Garcia struggled to a 73 and finished in a tie for 16th place on three-under.

A total of 24 players were within six shots of the lead at the start of the final round, but it was Bourdy, from Bordeaux, who established a clear advantage with three birdies in six holes around the turn.

Sam Little
Runner-up Little urges on an approach during the final round

His only anxious moment thereafter came at the 16th where he pulled his tee-shot into the rough and only just cleared the water in front of the green with his approach.

Bourdy duly collected his par and later struck a magnificent tee-shot at the 203-yard last, but could not quite round things off in style as his putt for a birdie two lipped out.

He knocked in a two-footer for par, however, and was drenched in champagne by compatriots Thomas Levet and Christian Cevaer before collecting his trophy and a 238,000 cheque.

"This is fantastic to get my first win. I started off nervously and got lucky on the first three holes to make par but after that my game was much better.

"I thought my second shot on the 16th was in the water, I was a bit lucky there, but I'm delighted to win and qualify for the Volvo Masters. I knew I needed to finish in the top three and I made it," Bourdy said afterwards.

The outcome was just as sweet for Little, who began the tournament 136th on the Order of Merit but moved up 60 places with his best-ever result, bettering his fifth place at the Madeira Island Open four years ago.

"It was my great escape, but playing like I have this week, showed me I was good enough not to have to struggle like I have," the 32-year-old Londoner said.

Fellow Briton Richard Finch, another player under threat at the start of the week, also did enough with a 72 for joint seventh place which lifted him from 124th to 110th on the list, with only the top 117 keeping cards for next year.



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