Huldahl gets first win at Wales Open|
Newport, Wales (Sports Network) - Denmark's Jeppe Huldahl strung together
seven straight pars at the end of his round Sunday to shoot a four-under 67
and win the The Celtic Manor Wales Open.
Huldahl earned his first European Tour victory at nine-under-par 275, hanging
on for a one-stroke victory over Sweden's Niclas Fasth.
It was an astonishing rise to the top for Huldahl. The 26-year-old Dane had
never cracked the top 10 in any of his previous 44 starts on the European
"I didn't even dream of this coming into this week," he said.
Fasth had a five-under 66 to finish alone in second place at eight-under 276.
He surged into a share of the lead with Huldahl on the back nine, but was
undone by back-to-back bogeys at the 16th and 17th holes.
Ignacio Garrido (69) took third place at seven-under 277, while Gary Lockerbie
(65) and Danny Willett (67) shared fourth at six-under 278.
Huldahl and Garrido shared the lead with Nick Dougherty when the third round
was completed Sunday morning following a long delay to the start of the round
Dougherty stumbled all the way into a tie for 37th place after posting a 79 at
rainy Celtic Manor.
Fasth eagled the par-five 11th to tie Huldahl for the lead at seven-under par,
but Huldahl came right back with a tap-in birdie behind at the 10th to move in
Huldahl made his second consecutive birdie at the 11th, but birdies by Fasth
at the 13th and 15th had him in a tie for the lead once again.
Fasth then bogeyed the 16th and 17th holes, falling two behind. He rolled in a
tough putt for birdie at the 18th, but it wasn't enough.
Playing like a steely veteran -- even if he didn't feel that way -- Huldahl
continued making pars until the title was his. He became the ninth first-time
winner this season on the European Tour, and the third player on the past 10
years to make the Wales Open their first victory on the circuit.
"I couldn't feel my hands on the last three holes," admitted Huldahl, who
collected four birdies in a spotless round. "I knew I was doing well, but I
didn't know how well until I asked my caddie on the 18th tee.
"He told me I needed a par -- and it's nice to have a par-five and have a
chance to lay up. But I couldn't put winning out of my head and it was quite
Fasth, chasing his seventh European Tour crown and first in two seasons,
posted an eagle, five birdies and those two bogeys at 16 and 17. They were his
only bogeys of the round.
"A little bit of a mixed bag this week," said Fasth.
Rival Ryder Cup captains Colin Montgomerie (71) and Cory Pavin (73) finished
at three-over and four-over par, respectively.
06/07 14:24:55 ET