Ranked 449th, Frenchman Christian Cevear enjoyed a surprising victory at the prestigious European Open after four rounds with seven under par. The tournament, part of the European Tour, saw 45 changes of the lead.
AFP - France's Christian Cevaer, ranked a lowly 449th in the world, shocked a strong field to win the European Open here on Sunday.
After four rounds of golf that saw 45 changes of the lead, the 39-year-old Frenchman, who has failed to make the top-30 in his last 15 starts and whose only previous Tour victory was the 2004 Spanish Open, beat England's Steve Webster, Scot Gary Orr and Spaniard Alvaro Quiros by a shot.
His winning total of 281, seven under par, was 13 strokes more than Ross Fisher took on the same London Club course last year - and his 74 was the highest last round by a winner all season.
But while Webster and Quiros both became more victims of the 471-yard last when tied for the lead - both carved their drives into the crowd, with Quiros hitting spectators with his first and second shots - Cevaer kept his nerve.
During the week the par four played to an average of nearly 4.7, with 154 bogeys, 48 doubles and 26 sevens or worse, but Cevaer parred it the first two days, birdied it in the third round and finished with the par he needed.
"I'm not a long player, but I used my utility club and it worked out great," he said.
"I made a point that no matter what happened just enjoy my golf, enjoy my skills and hang in there."
He played the front nine in 39 and did not have a birdie until the long 15th, but the problems meant that it brought him back into a share of top spot.
And then three closing pars were good enough to give him the 300,000 pounds first prize - easily the biggest of his 16-year professional career.
At 196th on the "Race to Dubai" money list entering the week he would have been delighted just to secure his card for next season, but now he has a five-year Tour exemption.
Date created : 2009-06-01