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Page last updated at 17:24 GMT, Sunday, 30 May 2010 18:24 UK

Luke Donald pips Rhys Davies to Madrid Masters title

Final-round leaderboard:
-21 L Donald (Eng) -20 R Davies (Wal) -18 F Molinari (Ita) -17 G McDowell (NI) -15 R Rock (Eng) -13 P Lawrie (Ire), S Galllacher (Sco), J Donaldson (Wal) -12 O Wilson (Eng) Selected others: -11 S Dyson (Eng) -10 R Finch (Eng) -9 N Dougherty (Eng) -6 P McGinley (Ire)


Luke Donald
Victory earned Donald his third win on the European Tour

Luke Donald fended off Welshman Rhys Davies to win the Madrid Masters by one shot for his first title in four years.

The pair shared a two-shot overnight lead and went to the last hole with Englishman Donald one in front.

Both made par as Donald's 67, which included an eagle on the 16th, gave him a winning total of 21 under par.

Francesco Molinari fired a 68 to finish three shots off the lead, with Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell another stroke back after an eight-birdie 65.

Donald's composure on the back nine will have made up for his final-round display at last week's PGA Championship at Wentworth when a double bogey on the penultimate hole put paid to his chances of winning his first European Tour title in six years.

The 32-year-old's last victory came at the 2006 Honda Classic on the PGA Tour. He had two European Tour wins in 2004 and also clinched the southern Farm Bureau Classic in the US in 2002.

"It's been a while since I won and to put last week behind me makes me very proud," said Donald who jumps from 13th to ninth in the world rankings.

Rhys Davies
Davies won his maiden Tour title in Morocco in March

"The way I played means a lot to me. The eagle was huge because Rhys put a lot of pressure on me. It's happiness and relief - definitely some relief."

Donald's eagle on the par-five 16th proved to be the pivotal moment in his duel with Davies - a glorious second shot landed within 12 feet of the pin before he sank the putt to put the pressure on his Welsh rival.

Davies birdied to stay in touch but failed to make any further ground as the final two holes were parred, while Molinari, who also eagled the 16th, dropped out of contention thanks to a double bogey on the par-four last.

"It didn't quite come off, but I've got lots to be pleased about," said the 25-year-old Davies.

"I was chasing the win and I just came up short unfortunately.

"On the 16th I thought I might keep the momentum [he had just birdied the 15th to level], but he threw in an eagle to be fair to him."

Davies, who is playing in his first year on the European Tour, won his maiden title in Morocco in March and would have climbed inside the world's top 50 if he had won in Spain.

606: DEBATE
Be_the_Ball

The result at the Real Sociedad Hipica Espanola Club de Campo also had significant implications for the European Ryder Cup points race.

Donald, who made the last of his two Ryder Cup appearances in 2006, rises to fourth above Ireland's Padraig Harrington and England's Paul Casey in the world points list table from which the top four qualify for Colin Montgomerie's team for the 1-3 October event at Celtic Manor.

Five more players will qualify automatically off a list based on points accumulated on the European Tour.

Molinari's finish put him in seventh place overall in the qualifying race, meaning world number eight Casey is in need of a wild card as things stand.

McDowell, another Ryder Cup hopeful, would have equalled the course record had he not bogeyed the third on his way to a seven-under 65.

The Portrush man's early lapse, though, meant Spain's Jose Manuel Lara carded the day's only 64.

Scotland's Stephen Gallacher followed his fourth-placed finish at the PGA Championship with another impressive outing, finishing the tournament on 13 under par for a share of sixth place.



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see also
Ryder Cup rankings
12 Jan 10 |  Golf
Donald and Davies lead in Madrid
29 May 10 |  Golf
Superb Donald shines in Madrid
28 May 10 |  Golf
Donald shares Madrid Masters lead
27 May 10 |  Golf
Montgomerie plans Garcia pep talk
27 May 10 |  Golf
Ryder hopefuls boost Wales field
26 May 10 |  Golf
PGA hero Khan misses US Open spot
24 May 10 |  Golf
Khan captures shock Wentworth win
23 May 10 |  Golf
Welshman Davies earns maiden win
21 Mar 10 |  Golf
Golf on the BBC
01 Jul 11 |  Golf


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FROM OTHER SPORT SITES
Betting Directory Celtic Manor Wales Open Golf Betting Luke Donald Can Win Back to Back - 3 hrs ago
Yorkshire Post Donald ducks unwanted tag to lift his first trophy in four long years - 24 hrs ago
PGA European Tour On song Donald headlines impressive cast list - 25 hrs ago
Irish Independent Donald ends title famine as McDowell turns corner - 30 hrs ago
Belfast Telegraph McDowell right back - 38 hrs ago


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