Sunday, 10 September 2006

Welshman Bradley Dredge won the Omega European Masters by a staggering eight strokes - the biggest margin of victory so far this season on The European Tour - after an imperious performance at Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club in the Swiss Alps. Dredge fired a final round of 67, four under par, for a 17 under par total of 267 with Germany’s Marcel Siem and Italy’s Francesco Molinari a distant second.

Dredge took a two-shot lead into the final round and was never troubled after birdieing the first three holes, dropping only one shot on the 16th by which time the title was beyond any doubt

"I'm over the moon I have won again," he said fittingly after receiving congratulations from 1972 Apollo 17 mission commander Eugene Cernan, an ambassador for tournament sponsors Omega, and the last man to set foot on the moon.

"The win has been a bit overdue and is a reward for my patience."

Although Dredge has the World Golf Championships – Algarve World Cup in Portugal title on his CV, after winning the team event with compatriot Stephen Dodd last year, his individual success was limited to the 2003 Madeira Island Open.

“I was getting a bit frustrated,” admitted Dredge. “It is nice to come out this weekend, put two good rounds together and win.”

This time Dredge made no mistake, keeping his playing partner Siem, who he led overnight, at bay with his opening burst and then holding off his rivals, including defending champion and tournament favourite Sergio Garcia.

The Spaniard, playing his last event before appearing in The Ryder Cup, lost his way after picking up a shot at the first but at least finished tied fourth following a late rally, nine strokes behind Dredge, after a closing 71.

"It was definitely not my day today but it has been a good defence," Garcia told reporters.

"I'll now relax for a couple of days then start practising, just work hard on my game and see if we can have another good Ryder Cup. I want to help my team as much as possible."

For Molinari it was hit best performance since his win in the Telecom Italia Open despite a double bogey on the 15th.

“Today was a really good day,” he said. “I don’t know what happened on the 15th but second is a very good week and I am pleased with that. Bradley’s score is unbelievable as there is so much trouble out there. It has been a while since the win in Italy and I needed a good week. I am pleased with that.”

Siem was disappointed to have missed the chance for second on his own but boosted his chances of a spot in the end of season Volvo Masters after climbing to 52nd on the Order of Merit.

“Bradley just played awesome and deserved the win. I couldn’t think about winning as Bradley played so well but second was mine for the taking and I was stupid. Hopefully it was good enough to get into the Volvo Masters though.”

Scotland’s Marc Warren, the recent EnterCard Scandinavian Masters winner, continued his bid for the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year Awars with a 67 that took him to a share of fourth place with  Garcia and Dane Soren Kjeldsen.


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