Jun 8, 2008
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Singh does a Faldo to win Austrian Open title

Jun 8, 2008

By Norman Dabell

VIENNA (Reuters) - Jeev Milkha Singh of India parred all 18 holes of his final round on Sunday to win the Austrian Open by a stroke.

A closing 71 for a 15-under 198 three-round total in the weather-shortened event left Singh one shot better than Britain's Simon Wakefield.

Singh claimed his third European Tour title in Nick Faldo fashion, copying the six-times major champion's feat of 1987 when Faldo won the British Open at Muirfield by parring all 18 holes of the final round.

Wakefield, Singh's nearest challenger overnight, began the final round four off the lead in the tournament reduced to 54 holes because of Thursday's washout.

The Englishman exerted pressure on playing-partner Singh by birdieing three of the last four holes but came up a stroke shy of forcing a playoff.

Earlier, Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell, who defeated Singh in a playoff for the Ballantines Championship in March, looked like being the Indian professional's threat again.

But after closing to within two strokes, McDowell bogeyed the last two holes to slip out of the winning picture on 202.

Dane Soren Hansen also got to within two strokes of Singh but double-bogeyed the last to also drift to 202.

Swedes Michael Jonzon, Martin Erlandsson and Pelle Edberg, Australia's Peter Fowler and another Briton, Iain Pyman, were the ones to take joint third place, three shots adrift of Singh.

Singh collected $337,000 in adding to his prestigious 2006 Volvo Masters title and China Open that year but admitted he may have been a little lucky to do so with Sunday's par finish.

"I was trying to make birdies but they wouldn't go in," he told reporters. "I think I'm fortunate to win shooting 18 pars. That's a tough call normally. Simon put up a great fight."

Victory for the Indian came after two second places this season. Singh noted: "I've knocked on the door a few times and at last it opened."

(Editing by Dave Thompson)

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