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Donald Delivers Maiden European Tour Win in Sweden

Englishman Luke Donald closed out the Scandinavian Masters by Carlsberg with a clinical final round three under par 69 to secure his maiden European Tour win with a 16 under par 272 total – and a five shot victory from the Swedish duo of Sweden’s Peter Hanson and Henrik Stenson.

The 25 year old did not move from first position on the leaderboard after taking the outright lead during the second round at the Barsebäck Golf & Country Club, Malmö, Sweden, and resisted the challenge of his final round playing partner Hanson before pouncing with two birdies in a row on the 13th and 14th, to give himself a three shot cushion with four holes to play.

Hanson bogeyed the 15th to give Donald a four shot advantage, and the Englishman came home in style by sinking a great birdie putt on the 18th green to ensure his four rounds for the week were all below 70.

Peter Hanson
Donald, whose first professional victory came in the 2002 Southern Farm Bureau Classic on the US PGA Tour, picked up the first prize of €266,660 (£176,435) and in doing so put himself in contention for a place in German Bernhard Langer’s European Ryder Cup Team.

The same could be said for Scotland’s Colin Montgomerie and Ian Poulter of England, who respectively carded impressive final rounds of 67 and 65 to tie for fourth place and show that they are hitting top form ahead of the 35th Ryder Cup Matches at Oakland Hills Country Club, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, USA from September 17-19.

Poulter’s 65 equalled the course record that Donald set during the second round for the 7365 yard Barsebäck Golf & Country Club, but that round was bettered by Irishman Peter Lawrie, who conjured a magical eight under par 64 to finish in a seven way tie for eighth place on six under 282.

Peter Lawrie
The 2003 Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year got his round going in spectacular fashion with an eagle two at the 393 yard par fourth second hole, and consolidated that with birdies on the fourth and fifth to get to the turn in four under par 32. He followed that with a back nine peppered with four birdies to come back in 32 and break Donald’s two day old record score.

But that was the furthest thought from Donald’s mind as he collected the Scandinavian Masters by Carlsberg trophy. “This is a really great moment for me,” said Donald. “I have been playing well all week and knew that if I could keep swinging the way I had been all week I would have a good chance.

“The turning point was on the 13th when I made birdie to open up a cushion and then made birdie on 14 which left me three ahead with four to play and I was comfortable after that. To finish with a birdie on the 18th to get all four rounds in the 60s was just the icing on the cake. This win is right up there amongst my best achievements in the game and to have my family here to see meant a lot to me as well.

“You never know in terms of the Ryder Cup. There are still a few weeks left before the team is picked and if I keep playing the way I am playing then I might play my way into the team automatically.”

Hanson’s second place finish is the best of his European Tour career, and secures his Card for next season. The 26 year old Swede regained his playing rights to The European Tour by virtue of his fifth place finish on the 2003 European Challenge Tour Rankings.

Henrik Stenson
Stenson finished dramatically with four birdies in his closing seven holes to join his fellow countryman in second position, but the day belonged to Donald, who became the fourth Englishman to win the Scandinavian Masters by Carlsberg, following Nick Faldo (1992), Peter Baker (1993) and Lee Westwood (1996 and 2000).


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