Cevaer comes out of hiding to win European Open

After four days of attrition and 45 changes of the lead, it was not one of the hardened stars who came out on top but a journeyman hero ranked 449th in the world and without a top 30 finish in 15 tournaments.

Frenchman Christian Cevaer fired a two-over-par 74 in the final round for a total of seven-under 281 and victory in the European Open at the London Club in Ash, England.

He finished one stroke ahead of a trio of players – Scotland’s Gary Orr, Alvaro Quiros, of Spain, and England’s Steve Webster.

India’s Jeev Milkha Singh, who was the joint overnight leader, fell to a tie for fifth with Stephen Dodd and Chris Wood after his final round of 76.

Cevaer maintained his composure on the tough 471-yard, par-four 18th as his rivals Quiros and Webster hit into the crowd. He said on the European Tour website:

“I’m not a long player, but I used my utility club and it worked out great. I made a point that no matter what happened just enjoy my golf, enjoy my skills and hang in there.”

Northern Ireland’s teenage star Rory McIlroy finished alone on 12th after his closing round of 75 gave him a total of 285.

Ireland’s Shane Lowry, the recent Irish Open winner who was making his pro debut, missed the cut after rounds of 78 and 73.

Another pro debutant, Australia’s Scott Arnold, also failed to make the weekend after scores of 79 and 78.

On the US PGA Tour, Steve Stricker birdied the second play-off hole to win the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial.

Stricker scored two-under 68 in the final round to join Steve Marino and Tim Clark in the play-off.

All three golfers parred the 18th but Stricker birdied the 17th while Marino dropped a shot and Marino could only par. It was Stricker’s fourth birdie on that hole for the tournament.

Australian Jason Day was one stroke behind the leaders on 264 after his closing 69 while a further shot back was England’s in-form Paul Casey, who shot a 66 in the final round.

American Woody Austin and Fiji’s Vijay Singh were tied for sixth on 266.

Meanwhile, it was a pink weekend at Colonial as people responded to the “Pink Out” theme in support of Amy Mickelson, the wife of world number two Phil Mickelson who has been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Mickelson has decided to stop playing to be by his wife’s side as she undergoes treatment. Amy said in a statement:

“We have been home watching the golf at Colonial surrounded by loved ones. Everytime we see a player, caddy, announcer, or fan wearing pink we are overwhelmed by the love and support we feel. The 11 days since we received the diagnosis have been very difficult, but this incredible gesture helps us feel so much stronger. We are determined to overcome this. Today’s ‘Pink Out’ will help all people, whether they’re fighting breast cancer or helping a loved one, know that they are not alone.”

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