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Gonzalez rallies to win SAS Masters



Malmo, Sweden (Sports Network) - In an electrifying finish, Argentina's Ricardo Gonzalez birdied five of his last six holes on Sunday to shoot a four- under 69 and win the SAS Masters by two strokes.

Gonzalez, who held the 36-hole lead but slipped back after a 77 on Saturday, closed out his fourth European Tour victory at 10-under-par 282, two strokes ahead of Jamie Donaldson (68).

Jeppe Huldahl (74) held the lead for a spell Sunday but took four bogeys on the back nine to finish in third place at six-under 286.

Overnight leader Marcus Fraser, meanwhile, struggled to a 77 in the final round and slipped into a seven-way tie for fourth place at four-under 288 -- six shots out of first.

Gonzalez surged into the lead with a stunning six-hole finish that began with back-to-back birdies at the 13th and 14th. He earned a share of the lead with another birdie at the 16th, but saved his most dramatic moments for the final two holes.

The 39-year-old from Corrientes, Argentina, holed a bunker shot from beside the 17th green for a birdie to take the lead, moving past Donaldson and Huldahl.

The ball, which was plugged in the sand, hopped twice before rolling in on the right side of the cup.

"I hit a very good second shot. When I saw it in the bunker, I was just begging for the ball not to be plugged," Gonzalez said through a translator. "When I got there, I was really disappointed."

Gonzalez received a little inspiration from his caddie, with whom he had been discussing how to hit those types of shots.

"When he saw the ball plugged, he told me, 'Now you have to show me how to play this bunker shot,'" said Gonzalez.

Clinging to his one-stroke advantage, Gonzalez escaped a tough lie on the 18th hole after knocking his tee shot left of the fairway. He squeezed his 150-yard approach through the trees and bounced it to within six feet of the hole.

Running to see how the shot ended up, Gonzalez discovered he only had a short birdie putt to all but clinch the victory. He strolled up the remaining bit of fairway, then closed out his first win since the 2004 Open de Sevilla.

"I feel incredible. I've been waiting five years for this victory," said Gonzalez. "It's been a very long wait."

07/26 11:56:56 ET


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