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Sunday, 14 February 2010
Avantha Masters - Round Four  (Getty Images)
Avantha Masters - Round Four (Getty Images)

A birdie at the last saw Andrew Dodt claim the Avantha Masters in Delhi by a stroke after the Australian posted a final round of 68 to lift the trophy with a winning total of 14 under par.

With seven players entering the last day level at the top of the leaderboard, it always promised to be a thrilling and exciting day at DLF Golf and Country Club, and so it proved.

The lead changed hands several times with Richard Finch's spectacular six under 66 at one point looking to have secured an unexpected triumph for the Englishman.

However, Dodt sank birdies at the 16th and 18th to claim his maiden European Tour victory ahead of Finch and Richard Bland, who carded a 71 to end on 12 under and miss out on his maiden European Tour title.

Dodt, whose previous best finish was a tie for ninth at last year's Barclays Singapore Open, began the day one shot off the pace but had picked up three strokes by the turn and was well placed with nine holes to play.

A bogey at the 11th threatened to derail the 24 year old's bid but he managed to recover over the final three holes to secure the trophy.

“It was a huge relief when I birdied the 18th,” said Dodt, who is The European Tour’s newest Member after taking affiliate membership last week and instantly finds himself in the top ten on The Race to Dubai.

“I had a pretty good lie on the rough and I was in between clubs. I decided to be more aggressive and hit a pretty good shot but it just didn’t turn. The bunker was fine as it was kind of a standard bunker shot and I managed to hit a good one.

“The week has been awesome. This has been my third week in a roll and I was just hoping for a good week this week. I stayed patient today and did what I had to do and I played really well.

“I can’t describe the feeling that I have now. To win a professional golf tournament is absolutely huge. I’ve come close a few times and to actually pull it off is a dream come true. This win is going to open a few doors for me and I’m really excited. I managed to hold on to my nerves today and I got the job done.”

Finch, meanwhile, mounted his charge from down the leaderboard as the Hull golfer reached the halfway point in 32 having collected five birdies and one bogey.

But he could only pick up two more shots down the stretch to eventually finish 13 under.

“I’m really pleased with the result – it was good to put a last round together because I started four shots off the lead and there were a lot of people between me and the guys at the top so it was always going to take something special,” he said.

“I had a target of 15 under at the start of the day and I got off to a good start and made some headway to get to that score. I suppose in the back nine I wasn’t really getting close enough to the hole to give myself realistic chances but I was pleased to make a birdie on the last considering I drove it into the bunker off the tee”.

For Bland, it was a case of so near yet so far. Saturday's 66 had catapulted him into contention and two early birdies saw him keep pace at the top of the scoreboard.

However, a bogey at the sixth set him back and although he recovered the shot at the 16th, he could not find the birdie he needed at the last to force a play-off, a bogey six condemning the 37 year old to a share of third as his search for that elusive first European Tour victory continues.

Scot David Drysdale also finished 12 under with bogeys at the 13th and 15th effectively scuppering his hopes

He was joined by Barry Lane, the 49 year old failing in his bid to become The European Tour's oldest winner as he could only manage a one under 71 after failing to get going on the front nine.

Japan's Tetsuji Hiratsuka completed the quartet. Having fired a new course record of 62 on Friday to move into contention, he like Lane could only muster a 71 despite sinking five birdies as a double bogey six at the fifth and a dropped shot two holes later hindered his progress.

Fredrik Andersson Hed took seventh on 11 under while Darren Clarke and Oliver Fisher finished in a group of six players on ten under following rounds of 71 and 70 respectively.

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