Monday, 12 October 1998
It was the first time Winchester had tasted victory since winning in Grenoble in 1991. "I've not had a win of any description since then and this one hasn't really sunk in yet," he said after collecting the first prize of just under £8,000.

But that tells little of a thrilling final day at Margara when 36 holes were played following Thursday's wash-out when heavy early morning rain flooded the course. After round two had been completed on Friday, Sweden's Henrik Nystrom lead on 11 under with Winchester six shots back. On the final day, a 68 in the morning saw him five adrift and with seven holes of the final circuit to play, the Devonian still trailed by four. Then in a sensational finale, Winchester played those last seven holes in five under to snatch the title from Canonica's grasp. From the 12th he went birdie-birdie-eagle-par-birdie and it might have been even more dramatic as further birdie putts from six and 10 feet at the last two holes lipped out.

Nevertheless, Winchester was happy with his day's work. "I just played so well," he said. "My caddie told me I was one ahead after 16 but I wasn't worried about anyone else. I just tried to get more birdies. "I've had five or six chances to win this year and been there or thereabouts most weeks, but always missed out until now." Winchester's victory hoists him from 13th to fifth on the rankings and guarantees his return to the main tour after a gap of four years.

"I've wanted to get back on the main tour because I feel my game is now ready to win out there," he added. And thereby hangs a tale as Winchester credited his coach, Nick Bradley, the teaching pro at Mill Ride, for his new-found success. "I've been working with Nick for eight months and he has a been a huge influence for me. He's changed my grip and my swing. For years I struggled with my long game and now it's all come good."

Watson, another seeking a return to the main tour, looked like finishing joint second with Canonica until he bogeyed the final hole for a second successive 68 and 274, one ahead of top-ranked Warren Bennett, who closed with a 70. Winchester apart, several players strengthened their chances of finishing in the top 15 after next week's Grand Final in Portugal, but Kevin Carissimi suffered a major blow. The French-based American in 15th spot, shot an opening 68 but was disqualified after round two for signing for a wrong score.

San Paolo Vita Open Scores


1 Roger WINCHESTER (Eng) 70 69 68 65 272 22253595.00
2 Emanuele CANONICA (It) 64 73 65 71 273 14826825.00
3 Scott WATSON (Eng) 71 67 68 68 274 8361795.00
4 Warren BENNETT (Eng) 68 68 69 70 275 6678750.00
5 Christopher HANELL (Swe) 69 74 66 67 276 5012401.88
Jorge BERENDT (Arg) 69 69 70 68 276 5012401.88
Markus BRIER (Aut) 68 67 72 69 276 5012401.88
Robert LEE (Eng) 71 69 67 69 276 5012401.88
9 Dominique NOUAILHAC (Fr) 69 69 72 67 277 3312660.00
Raimo SJ™BERG (Swe) 67 71 71 68 277 3312660.00
David PARK (Wal) 72 68 69 68 277 3312660.00
David R JONES (Eng) 69 68 69 71 277 3312660.00
Jeremy ROBINSON (Eng) 69 67 70 71 277 3312660.00
John BICKERTON (Eng) 64 70 71 72 277 3312660.00
15 Michele REALE (It) 71 67 70 70 278 2006964.38
Jose Manuel LARA (Sp) 70 69 69 70 278 2006964.38
Elliot BOULT (NZ) 69 70 67 72 278 2006964.38
Gary EMERSON (Eng) 70 69 67 72 278 2006964.38
19 Daren LEE (Eng) 70 69 72 68 279 1616257.50
Francesco GUERMANI (It) 73 67 70 69 279 1616257.50
21 Max ANGLERT (Swe) 75 68 69 68 280 1509397.50
22 Erik ANDERSSON (Swe) 72 69 70 70 281 1335750.00
Massimo SCARPA (It) 71 64 76 70 281 1335750.00
Jos‚ CARRILES (Sp) 72 69 71 69 281 1335750.00
Gianluca BARUFFALDI (It) 71 72 70 68 281 1335750.00
Anders HANSEN (Den) 70 71 69 71 281 1335750.00
Fredrik LINDGREN (Swe) 72 69 69 71 281 1335750.00
28 Gordon SHERRY (Scot) 70 72 71 69 282 1148745.00
Marc PENDARIES (Fr) 69 72 70 71 282 1148745.00
John MELLOR (Eng) 70 71 70 71 282 1148745.00
31 Pehr MAGNEBRANT (Swe) 72 68 73 70 283 1055242.50
Richard BLAND (Eng) 74 69 72 68 283 1055242.50
Mark LITTON (Wal) 70 68 70 75 283 1055242.50
34 Henrik NYSTROM (Swe) 67 66 78 73 284 975097.50
Marcus WHEELHOUSE (NZ) 72 69 71 72 284 975097.50
M†rten OLANDER (Swe) 71 68 74 71 284 975097.50
37 Andrew COLLISON (Eng) 70 71 71 73 285 881595.00
Raphael EYRAUD (Fr) 70 69 73 73 285 881595.00
Soren HANSEN (Den) 71 72 72 70 285 881595.00
Andrea CANESSA (It) 68 72 77 68 285 881595.00
41 Benoit TELLERIA (Fr) 71 70 72 73 286 801450.00
Janne MARTIKAINEN (Fin) 69 72 72 73 286 801450.00
David HIGGINS (Ire) 70 71 74 71 286 801450.00
Francis HOWLEY (Ire) 70 70 76 70 286 801450.00
Rudi SAILER (Aut) 71 70 69 76 286 801450.00
46 Daniel WESTERMARK (Swe) 72 70 72 73 287 754698.75
Marcello SANTI (It) 70 66 74 77 287 754698.75
48 Maarten LAFEBER (Hol) 75 66 72 75 288 727983.75
Mike MILLER (Scot) 72 71 73 72 288 727983.75
50 Fr‚d‚ric CUPILLARD (Fr) 70 72 73 74 289 701268.75
Paolo DE SALVATORE (It) 70 68 78 73 289 701268.75
52 Luis GALLARDO (Sp) 70 72 78 73 293 674553.75
Erol SIMSEK (Ger) 73 69 79 72 293 674553.75
54 Robert Jan DERKSEN (Hol) 70 73 77 74 294 654517.50
55 Johan SELBERG (Swe) 69 73 77 76 295 641160.00
56 Gary MURPHY (Ire) 74 70 144 0.00
Mikael LUNDBERG (Swe) 69 75 144 0.00
Morten BACKHAUSEN (Den) 72 72 144 0.00
Alessandro NAPOLEONI (It) 70 74 144 0.00
J”rgen AKER (Swe) 76 68 144 0.00
Federico BISAZZA (It) 70 74 144 0.00
Stephen GALLACHER (Scot) 72 72 144 0.00
Leif WESTERBERG (Swe) 72 72 144 0.00
64 Paolo TERRENI (It) 73 72 145 0.00
Gianluca PIETROBONO (It) 73 72 145 0.00
Alberto BINAGHI (It) 73 72 145 0.00
Nils RORBAEK (Den) 74 71 145 0.00
Thomas HENNIG (Ger) 71 74 145 0.00
Fernando PASQUALUCCI (It) 72 73 145 0.00
Nicolas KALOUGUINE (Fr) 73 72 145 0.00
Jos‚ SOTA (Sp) 70 75 145 0.00
Carlos DURAN (Swi) 73 72 145 0.00
Tony EDLUND (Swe) 72 73 145 0.00
Alessandro TADINI (It) 75 70 145 0.00
Fredrik LARSSON (Swe) 74 71 145 0.00
Eric CARLBERG (Swe) 74 71 145 0.00
77 David A RUSSELL (Eng) 76 70 146 0.00
Giuseppe CALI (It) 72 74 146 0.00
Antoine LEBOUC (Fr) 74 72 146 0.00
Antonio BURZIO (It) 73 73 146 0.00
Biagio PAOLILLO (It) 71 75 146 0.00
Birgir HAFTHORSSON (Ice) 75 71 146 0.00
Johan RYSTR™M (Swe) 77 69 146 0.00
Paolo PUSTETTO (It) 71 75 146 0.00
Alessandro PISSILLI (It) 74 72 146 0.00
86 Charles CHALLEN (Eng) 70 77 147 0.00
Giancarlo FERRERO (It) 71 76 147 0.00
Stefano SOFFIETTI (It) 70 77 147 0.00
Christophe POTTIER (Fr) 76 71 147 0.00
Matthew BLACKEY (Eng) 74 73 147 0.00
Felice CROTTI (It) 72 75 147 0.00
Kalle VAINOLA (Fin) 74 73 147 0.00
Emmanuele LATTANZI (It) 73 74 147 0.00
Giuseppe SITA (It) 75 72 147 0.00
95 Ricardo GONZALEZ (Arg) 72 76 148 0.00
Marco DURANTE (It) 77 71 148 0.00
Darren PARRIS (Eng) 75 73 148 0.00
Emanuele BOLOGNESI (It) 71 77 148 0.00
Christian CEVAER (Fr) 72 76 148 0.00
Adriano MORI (It) 75 73 148 0.00
Felix LUBENAU (Ger) 76 72 148 0.00
102 Inigo MORAL (Sp) 74 75 149 0.00
Simon WAKEFIELD (Eng) 79 70 149 0.00
Fabrizio SINTICH (It) 76 73 149 0.00
Ben TINNING (Den) 76 73 149 0.00
Pauli HUGHES (Fin) 78 71 149 0.00
Mario TADINI (It) 73 76 149 0.00
Andrew BUTTERFIELD (Eng) 77 72 149 0.00
Stefano PIETROBONO (It) 72 77 149 0.00
Pietro COSENZA (It) 76 73 149 0.00
111 Andrew MCKENNA (Scot) 73 77 150 0.00
Luigi SCARFIOTTI (It) 78 72 150 0.00
Andrea LANGE (AM) (It) 78 72 150 0.00
113 Luca MARRA (It) 75 76 151 0.00
Marco DONGHI (It) 75 76 151 0.00
Simone ROSI (It) 73 78 151 0.00
Marco SOFFIETTI (It) 77 74 151 0.00
Mikko RANTANEN (Fin) 74 77 151 0.00
Giorgio GRILLO (It) 73 78 151 0.00
119 Niccolo BISAZZA (It) 74 78 152 0.00
Giovanni MAGNI (It) 78 74 152 0.00
Giorgio MERLETTI (It) 75 77 152 0.00
Diego FIAMMENGO (It) 77 75 152 0.00
123 Roberto ZAPPA (It) 76 77 153 0.00
Tierri CORTE (It) 75 78 153 0.00
Alessandro PITTALUGA (It) 78 75 153 0.00
Giovanni GAUDIOSO (It) 75 78 153 0.00
127 Carlo GALLELLI (It) 79 76 155 0.00
Eric GIRAUD (Fr) 79 76 155 0.00
129 Carlo BASCIU (It) 77 79 156 0.00
130 Luca FRIGERIO (It) 75 82 157 0.00
Luigi ZAVATTARO (It) 83 74 157 0.00
132 Andrea CALCARI (It) 75 84 159 0.00
Andrea BANDINI (AM) (It) 78 81 159 0.00
133 Paolo MASSIGLIA (It) 78 84 162 0.00
Antonello BOVARI (It) 80 82 162 0.00
Giovanni BARBERIS (AM) (It) 81 82 163 0.00
135 Alfonso PAOLILLO (It) 80 85 165 0.00
136 Elio VERGARI (It) 82 DISQ 0.00
Alain VERGARI (It) 79 DISQ 0.00
Robert JONSSON (Swe) DISQ DIQ 0.00
Kevin CARISSIMI (USA) 68 DIS 0.00
Alberto LIMONTA (It) 82 DISQ 0.00
Luca BERNARDINI (It) W/D DISQ 0.00
Francisco VALERA (Sp) 80 W/D 0.00
Kaweh CHIRBAND (Ger) 79 W/D 0.00

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