Zions wins Saint-Omer Open

2011-06-19 16:52
Matthew Zions (File)

Saint-Omer - Matthew Zions of Australia shot a 2-under 69 to win his first European Tour title Sunday at the Saint-Omer Open.

The overnight leader made four birdies and two bogeys for an 8-under 276 total to finish seven strokes ahead of Daniel Denison of England, who shared second place with Peter Gustafsson of Sweden and Craig Lee of Scotland.

"This is a huge day, it's hard to believe," Zions told the European Tour website. "My ball striking was great all week and I hardly missed any greens.

"We're not out here just to collect the check. It was nice to feel those butterflies this morning and feel the adrenaline as I was coming down the stretch ... I had a lump in my throat a couple of times."

Zions was a runner-up at last year's Karnten Golf Open on the Challenge Tour and his previous best result on the European Tour was a ninth-place finish at the 2007 New Zealand Open.

Federico Colombo of Italy started the last round in second place, tied with Denison and George Coetzee of South Africa.

The Italian birdied his first hole to cut Zions's lead to two strokes. But Colombo and Coetzee quickly fell out of contention as they each had three bogeys on the front nine.

Coetzee finished in 12th place while Colombo ended up 17th.

Denison limited the damage with two birdies and four bogeys to keep second place.

"Matt holed putts at crucial times and never looked like making mistakes," Denison said. "I three-putted the 17th, which stopped me going second on my own."

Zions was briefly under pressure from Andrea Perrino of Italy, who sank two birdies to pull within three shots of the lead. But the Italian made three consecutive bogeys after the turn to slip to fifth place, tied with six other players at 284.

"If I was one or two (strokes) ahead I might have been more nervous," Zions said. "I knew it would be tough for the other guys to catch me with low scores in these conditions, so I just tried to be sensible."

Zions got some breathing room by making three birdies in a four-hole span to increase his lead to six shots after No. 11.

The 32-year-old Australian won by the biggest margin at this tournament. Christian Nilsson of Sweden had clinched the title by six strokes in 2009.

Leading final round scores from the St Omer Open at the par-71 course in France on Sunday:

276 Matthew Zions (Australia) 68 72 67 69 283 Peter Gustafsson (Sweden) 73 71 70 69

Craig Lee (Britain) 69 68 74 72

Danny Denison (Britain) 69 74 67 73 284 Marco Ruiz (Paraguay) 70 70 74 70

Andrew Tampion (Australia) 69 71 74 70

Lee Slattery (Britain) 73 68 73 70

Lorenzo Gagli (Italy) 73 68 72 71

Anders Schmidt Hansen (Denmark) 70 72 71 71

Jorge Campillo (Spain) 76 66 70 72

Andrea Perrino (Italy) 68 69 75 72 285 Victor Dubuisson (France) 75 69 72 69

Jamie Elson (Britain) 70 73 71 71

Espen Kofstad (Norway) 74 70 70 71

Alastair Forsyth (Britain) 73 69 70 73

George Coetzee (South Africa) 66 72 72 75 286 Chris Lloyd (Britain) 71 75 72 68

David Dixon (Britain) 73 72 73 68

Julien Guerrier (France) 70 74 72 70

Martin Erlandsson (Sweden) 69 75 72 70

Thomas Norret (Denmark) 68 72 74 72

Sam Little (Britain) 70 72 71 73

Federico Colombo (Italy) 72 67 71 76 287 Francois Calmels (France) 75 69 74 69

Ricardo Santos (Portugal) 71 73 71 72

Mikko Korhonen (Finland) 70 74 70 73

Julien Grillon (France) 70 71 72 74

Alessandro Tadini (Italy) 71 72 70 74



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