Welshman Stephen Dodd?s final round of 70 was enough to clinch his first PGA European Tour title of the season on Sunday and open up the possibility of a return to Ireland?s K Club as part of the European Ryder Cup team in September.
Dodd?s second win in Ireland in just over 12 months moves him up from 47th to 16th in the European Ryder Cup standings, making him a live outside bet to make Ian Woosnam?s team.
Three straight bogeys on the back nine by overnight leader Jose Manual Lara opened the door for Dodd, and his birdies on 16 and 17 proved decisive. A 50-foot birdie putt on the par-3 17th enabled him to approach the final hole with the luxury of a two shot lead.
England?s Anthony Wall edged past Lara for second place and an automatic qualifying berth for The Open Championship later in the month after holing a dramatic 35-foot putt on the last.
Woosnam will have been buoyed by the improved form shown by Lee Westwood in finishing in a tie for fourth place. Westwood, the 1999 and 2000 European Open winner, has played in the last four Ryder Cups.
Key Moment: Dodd?s mammoth 50-foot on the 17th ? the birdie enabled a relatively pressure-free stroll down the final hole.
Quote, Unquote: ?I wasn?t expecting to win this week, but golf is golf and you never know what?s going to happen.? Dodd reveals his surprise at clinching the title.
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