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  Sunday, 22 July, 2001, 18:08 GMT 19:08 UK
Duval's relief at Open triumph
David Duval on the 18th green at Lytham
Duval celebrates victory on the 18th green
David Duval admitted he was relieved after finally securing a major title with a three-stroke victory over Niclas Fasth to win The Open at Royal Lytham.

The former world number one carded a final round 67 to finish on 10 under par.

Among the six players who finished joint third on six-under was Welshman Ian Woosnam, who suffered a two-shot penalty for carrying one club too many in his bag.

In winning the 130th Open Championship, Duval helped erase the disappointment of his poor finish to last year's event at St Andrews where he dropped out of the running for second place on the 17th hole.

"I am very pleased," he told BBC Sport.

"But I did not think I was swinging the club well on the first couple of days. It was my putting that saved me.


I just relied on my putting on the last five or six holes
Open champion David Duval

"You could not play the way I was playing and get away with it, so I made a few minor adjustments and just hit the balls better."

Duval was mobbed as he moved down the 18th towards his victory.

He said: "They were unbelievable scenes. I was surrounded by police officers and R&A folks and was still getting battered - but it was worth it.

"It is a kind of big relief. It (The Open) is so pressure-packed and when you are on a golf course like this where any minor mistake is magnified, it makes the pressure greater.

"But I did not give up and just kept plugging away and on the last five or six holes just relied on my putting."

A year earlier, Duval mounted the biggest challenge to eventual winner Tiger Woods on the final day, but finished only 11th after running up an eight at the 71st hole.

"It is a great thing, especially after last year," said the 29-year-old.

"I have played in this championship now for seven years and had a wonderful experience every time.


I didn't play well for the first couple of days
Duval on his slow start at Lytham

"Last year I had a chance to win the tournament, although I probably should not have played because of injury to my back and things did not work out.

"I just could not stay with it and soon after was out for about 10 or 12 weeks.

"A lot has been said of that (the 17th bunker at St Andrews), but the golf tournament was over before I got in there and all that happened.

"All it did was cost me some money and spots on the field. In essence I finished second and was the only other player who had a chance of winning the golf tournament.

"I was at a point where I had to try and knock it in and pray for a miracle at the last."

Duval lifted the old Claret Jug following rounds of 69, 73, 65 and 67.

He said: "I didn't play well the first couple of days, but I putted well which is the only reason I made the cut.

"The next couple of days, though, I hit it well and continued to put well - and look what happens."


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The 130th Open, at Royal Lytham

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