DOHA, Qatar — Former British Open champion Paul Lawrie chipped in for an eagle and a birdie on his way to winning the wind-shortened Qatar Masters on Sunday, shooting 7-under-par 65 to hold off Jason Day and Peter Hanson.
Lawrie finished at 15-under 201 to win his seventh European Tour event and his second in Qatar. Day (65) and Hanson (67) tied for second, four strokes back.
It was Lawrie’s second victory in a year – he also won the Andalucian Open last March – after a nine-year drought. Now in the top 45, he could contend for a spot in the 2012 Ryder Cup.
“I played lovely all week. But today I think tee to green, apart from my tee shot on 10th, I can’t play much better than that,” said Lawrie, who also won the tournament in 1999. “I actually felt I left three or four putts out there and got it around to 7 under on a golf course where the greens were pretty firm.”
Lawrie downplayed his age, saying he is playing better now than he was in 1999 when he won the British Open. He added that his putting has improved significantly in the past few months, which allowed him to contend at the season-ending DP World Championship and again last week in Abu Dhabi.
Lawrie came into the final round with a one-shot lead over Nicolas Colsaerts. The 1999 British Open champion started slowly, with only a birdie on his first eight holes. But just as several players, including Sergio Garcia (68), were challenging for the lead, Lawrie sank a 20-yard chip for eagle on the 9th hole to go up by two.
Day and Garcia continued their charge, but Lawrie recorded four birdies on a flawless back nine that included clutch birdie putts on 11 and 14. And when Hanson chipped in for eagle on 16 to pull within three, Lawrie responded with chip in for birdie on 17. He played it safe on No. 18 and closed out with a short par putt for the win.
The tournament was disrupted by wind all week, and organizers called off Friday’s play and shortened the event to three rounds.
Conditions improved Saturday and were calm Sunday.
AUSTRALIAN LADIES MASTERS: In Gold Coast, Australia Christel Boeljon birdied the final hole to win by one stroke.
Boeljon closed with 4-under-par 68 in the final round to finish at 21 under at Royal Pines, one shot ahead of overnight leader So Yeon Ryu and Kim Ha-neul and Diana Luna.
Ryu, the U.S. Open champion, started the final round with a three-stroke lead, due mainly to her 11-under 61 in the second round Friday, but was overtaken as she closed with an even-par round of 72 on Sunday.