Monday, April 21, 2008

BEIJING (AP) — Ireland's Damien McGrane won his first European tour title Sunday, capturing the China Open by nine strokes in heavy rain after closing with a 1-over-par 73.

No player broke par in the final round. McGrane entered the last round with a three-stroke lead and finished at 10-under 278. Simon Griffiths (74) and Oliver Wilson (79) of England and Michael Lorenzo-Sera (79) of France shared second at the Beijing CBD International course.

"I have been thinking about winning one tournament for so long, and this week everything went my way," McGrane said. "I had good fortune, loved the course, and the bad weather didn't put me off my game today."

The 37-year-old Irishman joined the European tour in 2003. He earned a prize of $366,287 in a tournament sanctioned by the European and Asian tours.

"I have won once, so the world is my oyster now and hopefully I can go on and win more events," McGrane said.

McGrane capitalized on his putting. He dropped two shots on the opening eight holes, then made two birdies in three holes.

Defending champion Markus Brier of Austria shot 76 to finish 10 strokes back, along with the tournament's two highest-ranked players - Graeme McDowell (75) of Northern Ireland and Mark Brown (77) of New Zealand. Brown had a triple bogey on the final hole.

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