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Page last updated at 17:45 GMT, Sunday, 18 October 2009 18:45 UK

Westwood secures Portugal victory

FINAL LEADERBOARD:
-23 L Westwood (Eng) -21 F Molinari (It) -19 P Harrington (Ire) -18 P Hansen (Swe), S Siem (Ger)
Selected others: -17 R Goosen (SA), J Rose (Eng) -16 O Fisher (Eng) -14 O Wilson (Eng) -12 R McIlroy (NI), C Montgomerie (Sco) -10 D Clarke (NI)

Lee Westwood
Westwood's last tournament win was in the 2007 British Masters

Lee Westwood ended his two-year wait for a tournament win as he took victory by two shots at the Portugal Masters.

The victory over Italy's Francesco Molinari sees the 36-year-old from Worksop go top of the European Tour money list and fifth in the world.

He birdied his first four holes but Molinari caught him by the 12th.

The Italian missed a short putt to bogey the 16th while Westwood survived a wayward approach to the 17th for a birdie which sealed the victory.

Since his last win at the 2007 British Masters, Westwood had suffered three play-off defeats, two near misses in majors and 26 top-10 finishes but this win moved him from fourth to first on the European money list.

He started the day in third place, three shots behind Retief Goosen, but his strong start put him well in contention but he had to wait until the 12th for his next birdie.

606: DEBATE

By then Goosen was out of contention but Molinari was looking dangerous until he made a mess of the 16th.

Westwood gave himself a moment of concern when he went long and left at the 589-yard 17th and although he was able to take a free drop, he still faced a tricky shot.

"All I could see was trees (right in front of him) and water (over the green) - and I had a really tight lie," he said.

However, from around 30 yards he almost holed it, tapped in for birdie and then Molinari missed a five-footer that would have returned the gap to one.

Westwood eventually finished on 23 under, two clear of Molinari with Ireland's Padraig Harrington third on 19 under following a final round of 67 after a poor third-round 71 put him out of contention.

A delighted Westwood admitted afterwards he was relieved to have finally ended his losing run.

"It was nice to finish it off, you never know when the next win is going to come and you start to question yourself," he said.

"You always slightly doubt yourself in the back of your mind and to be number one again feels great. It's been nearly 10 years since I won it.

"I'm also delighted about the world rankings. I always have a good look at that and it's a reflection of my consistency.

"But winning is definitely a habit and I got out of the habit. Hopefully now I have won again I can win more."

Rory McIlroy, who had topped the Race to Dubai standings going into the tournament, had a closing round of 66 to finish tied for 30th which drops him down behind Westwood in the overall table.

Both he and Westwood are back in action at the Volvo World Match Play in Spain starting on Thursday week.



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see also
Goosen takes slim Portugal lead
17 Oct 09 |  Golf
Harrington closes gap in Portugal
16 Oct 09 |  Golf
Molinari takes lead in Portugal
15 Oct 09 |  Golf


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