MADRID (AP) — Lee Slattery of England held on to win the Madrid Masters on Sunday, his double bogey on the final hole good enough for a one-stroke victory that gave him his first title in seven years on the European Tour.
No. 328th-ranked Slattery shot a 1-under 71 in the final round despite wobbling at the par-5 18th. He finished at 15-under 273 to stave off a challenge from Lorenzo Gagli of Italy.
“I had a two-footer on the last to win and I have never shaken so much in my life,” Slattery said. “I’ve been out here for seven years and now I believe I can win. That has been the biggest problem and this (win) for me is huge.”
The 33-year-old Slattery earned $222,908 for the win, more than doubling his earnings on the European Tour this year.
Slattery had also started shakily. His two-shot overnight lead disappeared as he bogeyed the par-3s at Nos. 3 and 5 before recovering with a birdie at No. 7.
Four birdies in five holes after the turn helped him to a three-shot lead going into the final hole that proved to be just enough.
Slattery hit his second on the par-5 No. 18 into a bunker and put his third shot into the water, but gathered himself to pitch his fifth within 15 feet for a two-putt finish.
“The problem is there’s been so much sand in the bunkers that if you get in them you pretty much know you’re going to get an iffy lie and getting to the bottom of the ball is so hard,” he said. “It actually came out OK. I managed to get away with it.”
The win gave Slattery his first European Tour victory at the 179th attempt and ensures he will retain his card for next year.
Defending champion and No.1-ranked Luke Donald failed to mount a serious challenge, dropping three shots in the last five holes – including a double-bogey at No.16 – to finish 8 under for the tournament after a 72.