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Page last updated at 15:52 GMT, Sunday, 1 June 2008 16:52 UK

Strange secures Wales Open title

WALES OPEN LEADERBOARD - FINAL ROUND GB & Irl unless indicated
-22 S Strange (Aus) -18 R Karlsson (Swe) -14 R Jacquelin (Fr) -13 B Barham, N Dougherty, D Clarke, R Echenique (Arg), F Molinari (It)
Selected others: -11
R Dinwiddie, R Fisher, R McGowan -10 J Donaldson
-5 R McIlroy, G McDowall -2 C Montgomerie
Coverage: Highlights on BBC2 Wales at 2345 BST


Scott Strange
Strange lines up a putt during his final round at Celtic Manor

Australian Scott Strange sank seven birdies in a final-round 64 to win the Wales Open at Celtic Manor.

The 31-year-old's bogey-free round gave him a 22-under-par total of 262, four shots clear of Robert Karlsson.

The Swede also shot 64 to continue his fine recent form but it was not enough to recapture the title he won in 2006.

Raphael Jacquelin (68) was third on 14 under with Darren Clarke (66), Benn Barham (68) and Nick Dougherty (68) one behind in a five-way tie for fourth.

The 2010 Ryder Cup course yielded plenty of birdies as it had over the previous three days and it was Clarke who made an early charge with four in a row from the 2nd.

He followed that initial run of success with a 22-footer for another from the edge of the 7th green.

But he could not afford any slips, having begun seven strokes off the pace, and his challenge ended when he drove wide of the green and into the water at 13.

Life is better and I am very close to the way I want to hit the ball

Darren Clarke

"I'm taking things more on the chin and getting on with it. I laughed when I went in the water - I've not always done that," said the Northern Irishman.

"I've got to try and make sure I'm exempt for the Open and this whole week has provided me with a lot of positives.

"Life is better and I am very close to the way I want to hit the ball."

606: DEBATE

Strange, meanwhile, showed no sign of pressure as he chased his first European Tour win and went five clear by picking up shots at the 2nd and 3rd.

Three more birdies followed as he covered the front nine in 31, only for Karlsson to respond with six in succession around the turn to cut Strange's lead to two.

He did not get any closer, however, because of a bogey at 14 where he put his approach into the water, and Strange pressed home his advantage by holing from 30 feet for a birdied at the same hole.

The leader only needed one more to match his 63 on the opening day, but settled for par-golf over the last four holes to complete a magnificent start-to-finish win.

Strange, from Perth, suffered a dizzy spell during the third day's play and admitted he had still not been feeling 100% when he teed off for his final round.

"As the day progressed, though, I got better and better," he said.

"There was a fair bit going on in my head on the final tee and I was a bit numb. I should have taken a few deep breaths."


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