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Robert Karlsson closed out his victory with a 65. “It is
the first time I have played really well for a long time,
and the way I finished off today was very satisfying.”
Swede ends drought with victory in
Qatar, his first since being beset by
vision problems last year.
DOHA, QATAR | Sweden’s Robert Karlsson ended a
personal drought, winning for the first time in 16
months when he captured the Commercialbank
Qatar Masters title Sunday.
The rangy 40-year-old Ryder Cupper fired a closing 7-under-par 65 for a 15-under total of 273 to
finish three ahead of long-hitting defending champion Alvaro Quiros. The Spaniard closed with a 67.
England's Lee Westwood, playing alongside Karlsson, saw his chance for victory vanish when he three-putted the par- 4 16th for bogey. Westwood closed
with a 70 for a share of third place with Aussie Brett
Rumford at 11 under. Karlsson’s last victory was
at the Dunhill Links Championship in October of
2008, a year in which he finished as the No. 1 player
in Europe. This was his 10th European title.
The victory completes a brave comeback from
an eye injury that hampered Karlsson for most of
2009. The triumph also made him the first player
30 or older to win in the 2010 Euro season.
After becoming the first Swedish player to be
named European No. 1 in 2008, Karlsson missed
four months last year after suffering from blurred vision caused by fluid behind the retina in his left eye.
"It was tough coming back,” he said. “I had a
couple of good finishes at the end of last year with
Henrik (Stenson) at the World Cup and a second in
Japan, but it is fantastic to be back now. It is the first
time I have played really well for a long time, and
the way I finished off today was very satisfying.”
Englishman Oliver Wilson closed with three
birdies to grab a share of fifth with overnight leaders
Bradley Dredge and Paul Casey. Denmark's Thomas
Björn carded his only sub-70 round as a 69 secured
eighth at 7 under with Peter Lawrie, Ricardo Gonza-
lez, Niclas Fasth and 2007 champion Retief Goosen.
Camilo Villegas, criticized in some U.S. quarters
recently for not playing more in America early on,
rounded out the top 10, nine shots off the lead.