It was one of the most closely contested events of the season but in the end a stunning back nine of 29 gave Richard Sterne his second European Tour victory.

The leaderboard was jam-packed and a mass of players were in contention from beginning to end. In fact after the first round nine players were tied for the lead ? a European Tour record.

The Welsh crowds were out in full force to follow their fellow countryman Bradley Dredge. The man from Cardiff was in the hunt all week but two dropped shots early on Sunday looked to have ruined his chances. However he fought back valiantly with three consecutive birdies and stood tied for the lead on the 18th tee. But he then found the fairway bunker and missed a seven-foot putt for par to leave Sterne (pictured) alone at the top on 13 under.

Sterne continued the fine form which saw him finish third at the BMW PGA Championship the previous week. The South African also looked defeated early on after recording three bogies but fought back brilliantly with seven birdies.

?It is always difficult when you are knocking on the door and you don?t win but I was playing well again this week and to get the breakthrough means a lot. It is a fantastic place here and so to win here makes it even more special,? said Sterne.

The win moves him to fourth on the European Tour Order of Merit and means he qualifies automatically for the Open Championship at Carnoustie.

Celtic Manor Wales Open
Final Leaderboard

GB & Ire unless stated
-13 R Sterne (Rsa)
-12 B Dredge, M Vibe-Hastrup (Den), M Mamat (Sin), S Kjeldsen (Den)
-11 M Ilonen (Fin), G Murphy