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Friday, 19 March 2010
When Carl Suneson finished bogey, bogey to miss the cut by one in the Spanish Open it hurt. He was determined it wouldn't happen again in Valencia and he kept his promise.

The 31-year-old from La Palmas not only beat the cut, he came from three shots back to win the Comunitat Valenciana Challenge de Espana at El Saler to earn his first victory for four years and just two months after surgery on a painful hand.

In a tournament nominated by Spanish players, Suneson carded a closing 68 for 280, eight under par, to beat overnight leaders Manuel Moreno and Tomas Jesus Munoz by two and three strokes respectively.

"Last week when I missed the cut in Barcelona I said to myself that the Challenge wasn't going to be like that," said Suneson. "I am extremely happy to have won again. I wasn't nervous in the final round, just tense but I was under control.

"At the start I told myself, 'You're good. Just be courageous, not aggressive, and things will work out right'. I just concentrated on each shot."

Despite starting three shots behind, Suneson was soon on level terms with three birdies in the first four holes. That put him seven under with his two countrymen, but while they never really found their earlier form, Suneson
maintained his and was never overtaken.

With three holes left he was level with Moreno and Didier de Vooght on seven under only for Moreno to drop a shot at the 429-yard 16th while disaster struck De Vooght at the same hole.

The unfortunate Belgian, who had compiled five birdies at that point, suffered a quadruple-bogey eight by taking a drop from a bush, hitting his third into a trap, thinning the recovery over the green, chipping to 10 feet and three-putting.

However, he showed true grit by immediately birdieing the tricky short 17th to finish with a 71 for joint fourth place on 284. "I played 17 unbelievable holes but one bad swing ruined everything," he said.

Out on his own again, Suneson only needed a par at the last to secure the title but underlined his supremacy by running in his fifth birdie.

Moreno, the former tour player who now competes on the new Oki Telepizza Spanish circuit and was second to Santiago Luna in the recent Spanish PGA Championship, finished with 73. "I'm happy because I've been runner-up twice in a month," he said. "It means the next tournament will be mine."

Munoz, who managed only one birdie in a 74 for 283, was philosophical. "Three-putting the first hole didn't help. It might have been different if I could have read the greens but I had a good week."

So did top Briton Nick Ludwell. The 27-year-old Yorkshireman from Selby began the day five off the pace and immediately wrecked his hopes by dropping three shots in the first two holes.

"It was a terrible start. I was far too aggressive," he said. "I felt then that I had played myself out of contention so I forgot about winning and played much better."

In fact, he ran in six birdies in the next 11 holes to finish with 70 and fourth spot - his best Challenge Tour performance - alongside De Vooght and Sweden's Martin Erlandsson, who matched Suneson's 68.

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Tournament Leaderboard

PosPlayer NameNatHolePar
1SUNESON, CarlESP18-8
2MORENO, ManuelESP18-6
3MUÑOZ, Tomas JesusESP18-5
T4DE VOOGHT, DidierBEL18-4
T4ERLANDSSON, MartinSWE18-4
T4LUDWELL, NickENG18-4
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