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Friday, 19 March 2010
SAS Masters - Round Two  (Getty Images)
SAS Masters - Round Two (Getty Images)

Argentina's Ricardo Gonzalez, without a top ten finish all season, grabbed his fourth European Tour title in simply stunning fashion in Malmo.

Five birdies in the final six holes - and this on the longest course in European Tour history - gave the 39 year old a two stroke victory over Welshman Jamie Donaldson at the SAS Masters.

The last two of them will live long in his memory.

First Gonzalez holed a difficult bunker shot at Bärseback's 459 yard 17th and then, after hooking into the trees down the 437 yard last, he threaded his nine iron approach through a nine foot gap and hit it to within five feet of the flag.

"Incredible," he said after signing for a four under par 69 and ten under total of 282.

"It's been a hard year, but I was fighting, fighting, fighting. I had the feeling that you can always make it if you work hard and never lose faith.

"I don't know whether the shot on the last was luck or just brilliant!"

Gonzalez, whose last victory on The European Tour was five years ago, also earned himself a nickname at last.

Compatriots Angel Cabrera and Eduardo Romero have long been known as "The Duck" and "The Cat".

Gonzalez is now "El Hombre del Hacha" - "The Axeman" - because after missing out on The Open Championship he returned to his farm south of Buenos Aires and helped with the chopping down of trees.

Donaldson has still to win a European Tour title nine years after partnering Paul Casey and Luke Donald to second place in the World Amateur Team Championship.

But the 33 year old was feeling good rather than bad about this near miss after witnessing what Gonzalez did.

"I had only 21 putts and didn't do anything wrong," he said after his joint best of the day 68.

Donaldson's one previous second place was in Portugal in 2003 and he remembered: "Fredrik Jacobson had three chip-ins on the back nine and beat me by one."

Gonzalez earned €166,660 and Donaldson €111,110, while third place went to Denmark's Jeppe Huldahl, winner of The Celtic Manor Wales Open early last month.

Huldahl led by three at the turn as overnight leader Marcus Fraser struggled on his 31st birthday, but bogeyed the tenth and 11th and dropped further shots at the last two as well.

 

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1GONZALEZ, RicardoARG18-10
2DONALDSON, JamieWAL18-8
3HULDAHL, JeppeDEN18-6
T4HIGLEY, MarcusENG18-4
T4ERLANDSSON, MartinSWE18-4
T4SMITH (AM), NathanUSA18-4
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