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  Sunday, 22 July, 2001, 18:41 GMT 19:41 UK
Duval storms to Open glory
David Duval is congratulated by Bernhard Langer (right)
David Duval is congratulated on the final green
David Duval charged to victory in The Open with a masterful display of links golf at Royal Lytham and St Annes.

The American carded a 67 in the final round to finish on 10 under par - three shots ahead of Sweden's Niclas Fasth - for his first success in a Major championship.

"It's a big relief," said Duval after at last joining the game's elite. "The Majors are so pressure-packed.

"Any minor mistake is magnified and I'm very pleased I didn't let up and kept plugging on."

  Final leaderboard
10 under par
David Duval (USA)
Seven under par
Niclas Fasth (Swe)
Six under par
Darren Clarke (NI), Ernie Els (SA), Miguel Angel Jimenez (Spa), Bernhard Langer (Ger), Billy Mayfair (USA), Ian Woosnam (Wal)
While Duval produced a supreme example of course management, his rivals for the title all struggled - and the much-hyped final day showdown proved something of an anticlimax.

There were strong hopes of a home triumph at the start of the day - but the British and Irish challenge suffered a cruel three-way blow.

First Colin Montgomerie's quest for a maiden Major faltered on the greens and the Scot, who led at halfway, eventually finished way off the pace on four-under after a 72.

Darren Clarke was then within two shots of Duval in the closing stages - only for a double-bogey at 17 to end the Ulsterman's challenge.

A final round 70 left him tied for third spot on six-under.

Niclas Fasth lines up a putt in the final round
Little-known Swede Fasth finished runner-up
But the biggest sob story for the British contingent belonged to Ian Woosnam.

After so nearly claiming a hole-in-one at the opening hole, the Welshman was docked two strokes on the second tee when it emerged he had too many clubs in his bag.

A clearly rattled Woosnam then dropped two more shots - and though he battled on gamely the Ryder Cup veteran was never likely to recover from that bizarre early setback.

A level-par 71 meant Woosnam finished in joint third place on six-under, alongside Clarke, Germany's Bernhard Langer, South African Ernie Els, Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain and American Billy Mayfair.

The surprise of the day was Fasth, who stormed out of the pack with a four-under 67 to make the runners-up spot his own.

The Swede has suddenly forced his way into contention for the European Ryder Cup team.

Defending champion Tiger Woods finished the week nine shots adrift on one-under after a 71.

The world number one never produced his best golf at Lytham and was unable to launch an effective defence of his title.

Ian Woosnam discovers he will be docked two shots
Disbelief: Woosnam was docked two shots
Where Woods failed, his great rival Duval prospered.

He had made his charge in the third round, when a brilliant 65 gave him a share of the overnight lead.

And he continued in his finest form on Sunday, as birdies at the third, sixth and seventh saw him turn at 32.

In the back nine he picked up shots at 11 and 13 - and although he suffered a bogey at the12th, he played intelligent golf in the closing stages, with pars at the last five holes.

Walking up the last with a three-shot cushion he was able to take two putts for a four.

It may not have been the emotional rollercoaster many were hoping for - but there can rarely have been such a coolly efficient destruction of a top-class field in a Major championship.

Woods has been warned.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Sport's Simon Murray
"In the end Duval was a comfortable winner"
Open official John Paramore - BBC Sport
"You don't expect it in the final round of the Open"
Penalised golfer Ian Woosnam
"It took me about four or five holes to recover"
David Duval
"I just kept plugging away"
David Duval
recieves the Claret Jug
Scotland's Colin Montgomerie
"I didn't really putt well for the last three days"
Ireland's Darren Clarke
"I'm very pleased with the way I played this week"

Launch The Open Leaderboard
The 130th Open, at Royal Lytham

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