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Fernandez-Castano wins at Belfry

FINAL ROUND LEADERBOARD: (GB & Ire unless stated) -12 G Fdez-Castano (Spa)*, L Westwood -10 M Campbell (NZ) -8 M Lundberg (Swe) -6 C Schwartzel (SA), JM Singh (Ind) Selected others: -5 R Fisher, -3 T Bjorn (Den), -2 D Howell, P Lawrie *wins after play-off

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Spain's Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano needed a play-off to beat Lee Westwood and deny the Englishman his defence of the British Masters at the Belfry.

The pair played the 18th three times before they could be split after Westwood hit a final round 70 and the Spaniard a 67 to finish 12 under.

Trading 10-foot putts on the first two play-off holes for par, Fernandez-Castano produced another to win.

New Zealand's Michael Campbell was third on 10 under par.

Fernandez-Castano, 27, played some fine shots in a sparkling final round, not least a chip in on the 12th and a save from the rough on the 72nd hole which left him a four-foot putt to take the contest to sudden-death.

Fernandez-Castano thrilled with title

Although he was shorter off the tee than Westwood he made up for it with an assured short game which eventually paid dividends for his fourth career title and a winner's cheque of 382,000 euros (£300,000).

It also gave him a perfect play-off record having won two of his previous four titles by that method.

"I think it's probably the best of my four wins," Fernandez-Castano said. "My season was not going very well and I was starting to get worried."

Westwood, who played in last weekend's Ryder Cup, was always in contention over the weekend but admitted his form was lacking on Sunday.


A win would have put him right in the mix in the European Order of Merit but second place means he is more than 200,000 euros behind leader Padraig Harrington with only six events left in the calendar.

"I just struggled with my swing all day," he told BBC Sport afterwards "I didn't feel under control at any point.

"I was pleased to be in a play-off as I felt I really hung in there. When 'Gonzo' chipped in at the 12th I think the writing was on the wall. I felt I am at the end of my tether and running on empty."

It was a long day for the players who had to complete their third rounds on Sunday morning following a fog delay on Saturday.

Westwood not looking for excuses

But Westwood, 35, made a great start completing his final eight holes in four under par, taking him to 10 under overall at the start of the final round.

Indeed it was Campbell who looked to be his main challenger after finishing his third round for a 65, but the pair tied up over the back nine as Fernandez-Castano produced a flawless final round.

Five birdies gave the Spaniard the momentum going into the play-off and he sealed it with a delicate putt from off the green that almost rolled in for a birdie.

European Tour Order of Merit (After British Masters)

1 Padraig Harrington (Irl) 2,350,556
2 Lee Westwood (Eng)2,122,239
3 Robert Karlsson (Swe) 1,994,436
4 Miguel Angel Jimenez (Spa) 1,990,609
5 Henrik Stenson (Swe) 1,773,617
6 Graeme Mcdowell (NIrl) 1,714,882
7 Vijay Singh (Fij) 1,632,384
8 Ross Fisher (Eng) 1,320,740
9 Oliver Wilson (Eng) 1,227,711
10 Jeev Milkha Singh (Ind) 1.138.015

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15 Jul 07 |  Golf

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