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Garcia clinches home town victory

FINAL LEADERBOARD: (GB & Ire unless stated)
-20 S Garcia (Spa) -17 P Hedblom (Swe) -15 A Noren (Swe) -14 S Dyson, S Kjeldsen (Den), D Lynn -13 R Finch, P Hanson (Swe)
Selected others: -12 P Casey, R McIlroy, S Gallacher -10 JM Olazabal (Sp)
-7 N Dougherty, C Wood -6 J Rose

Sergio Garcia
Garcia collects one of world sport's more unusual trophies

Sergio Garcia captured his first European Tour title since 2005 with a three-stroke victory on his home course at the Castello Masters.

The Spaniard, 28, sank five birdies in a four-under-par 67 to see off the challenge of Swede Peter Hedblom (66).

After starting the final round four shots adrift, Hedblom only needed six holes to draw level.

But Garcia held his nerve and finished on 20 under par after a bogey five at the 17th ended Hedblom's hopes.

"Just getting the tournament here was extremely special for me - and my family - and to come out on top playing like I did was awesome," Garcia said afterwards.

He dedicated his victory, however, to Seve Ballesteros, who has undergone three operations after being diagnosed with a brain tumour and remains seriously ill.

"I couldn't help but think about Seve. I'm sending all my love to him and his family and hope he recovers soon," Garcia commented.


Hedblom's compatriot Alexander Noren took third place with a best-of-the-day 65 which featured five successive birdies on the back nine before he dropped a shot at 18.

England's Simon Dyson and David Lynn, who carded 69s, were a stroke further back on 14 under, sharing fourth with first round leader Soren Kjeldsen.

Most eyes, however, were on Garcia whose father Victor is still the the professional at the Club de Campo.

And he did not let the crowd down despite the best efforts of Hedblom, who birdied the first four holes.

After bogeying the short 6th where he missed the green with his tee-shot, Garcia responded by immediately holing an eight-footer for birdie at the next.

Sergio and Victor Garcia
Garcia is congratulated by his father, the Club de Campo professional

Both players picked up shots at the long 13th and again had matching birdies three holes later.

Garcia was in trouble at 17 where his approach finished in sand, but he almost holed his bunker shot before securing his par, while Hedblom missed his putt from short range.

A noisy ovation greeted Garcia at the 18th where he avoided any last-minute alarms before tapping in to seal a win which ended a run of seven second-place finishes in Europe since his 2005 European Masters success.

"On the back nine I felt I had it under control and had a lot of chances and putts, but didn't make that many. It just feels very special and means so much," he added.

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