Date: May 13, 2007

Westwood wins by two shots

Lee Westwood has survived a faltering finish to card a final-round 67 for a 20-under-par total of 268 to claim a two shot victory in the Valle Romano Open de Andalucia. The world number 63 finished two shots ahead of compatriot Phillip Archer (65) and Sweden&aposs Fredrik Andersson (66), while Matthew Zions was the leading Australian, finishing the tournament with a round of 71 to be tied for ninth place. Westwood looked set for an easy stroll to his 17th tour victory after racing to the turn in 31 and leading by five with just eight holes to play. But three dropped shots in the next five holes, coupled with eagles on the 16th from Archer and Andersson, saw the Ryder Cup star&aposs lead cut to just one shot. The 34-year-old responded with a birdie on the 16th to edge two clear and eventually holed from 40 foot for par on the 18th to ensure he took the winner&aposs cheque. “It&aposs great to win again, although it looked like it might be a lot easier than I made it in the end,” admitted Westwood, who was seven off the pace after a first-round 72 before switching putters and playing the last 54 holes in 20-under-par. “Winning was very important, it wouldn&apost have felt good coming off with second or third after getting in such a good position. “I never really thought about going so long without a win. I&aposve still been playing pretty well and I knew that winning is fickle, sometimes you just don&apost get across the line first. “I won so often in the late 90s that if I had a spell where I didn&apost win, people were always going to highlight it and get on my case about it. But I was never going to get on my own case.” Westwood began the day with a one-shot lead after a course record 64 in the second round and 65 on Friday, and looked home and dry after birdies at the first three holes. Two more at the seventh and eighth took him out in 31, and when he birdied the 10th he was five clear and apparently cruising. “Even then you start playing mind games,” Westwood conceded. “You start saying to yourself &aposdon&apost blow a big lead.&apos “The mind is a complicated thing and I don&apost want to delve too deep into mine!” Bogeys at the 11th, 13th and 15th opened the door for the chasing pack and Archer and Andersson took full advantage, both holing from short range for eagle on the par-five 16th to close within one. However, Archer was unable to birdie the 18th from 10ft to exert even more pressure and, after finding sand with his approach, Westwood holed from 40 foot on the last to wrap up the win in style. Victory should lift the former European number one back into the world&aposs top 50 on Monday and he added: “It&aposs been a big goal to get back into the top 50, I want to play in the US Open and that&aposs going to be the way in. “But I want to be higher than the 40s. I want to be back where I was, in the top 10, and this is a step in the right direction.” Archer&aposs second place finish is the best of his European Tour career and the 35-year-old from Warrington said: “I&aposm very pleased. “I had a really solid week and the putter started to get a bit hotter. I thought Lee was miles away so I thought it was a fight for second but I hit a great shot out of the trees on 16 and my eagle went in just as they were putting Lee back to 19 under on the leaderboard. “I was thinking about the win then but he&aposs a quality player so you don&apost expect him to make too many mistakes.” Spain&aposs Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, one behind Westwood overnight and seeking back-to-back victories after winning the Italian Open in Milan on Sunday, faded to a closing 72 and share of seventh place in the tournament he was co-promoting with Miguel Angel Jimenez. Of the other Australians in the field, Scott Strange finished at six-under-par in equal 34th position, while compatriot Terry Pilkadaris closed with his fourth consecutive round of 71 to be in a tie for 44th. A further stroke behind and in equal 50th place were Australian trio Peter Fowler, Matthew Millar and Wade Ormsby. Final results from the Valle Romano Open: (par 72) -20: Lee Westwood 72 64 65 67 -18: Fredrik Andersson Hed 69 71 64 66, Philip Archer 69 70 66 65 -16: Michael Jonzon 69 68 66 69, Louis Oosthuizen 67 67 69 69 -15: Thomas Bjorn 71 69 66 67 -14: Gonzalo Fdez-Castano 67 68 67 72, Chris Gane 67 71 68 68 -12: Gareth Davies 69 71 68 68, David Lynn 70 71 68 67, Robert Rock 70 73 65 68, Matthew Zions (Australia) 65 70 70 71 -11: Francois Delamontagne 69 66 72 70, Jamie Donaldson 70 69 70 68, Soren Hansen 70 68 70 69, Garry Houston 71 67 72 67, Sam Walker 69 69 70 69 -10: Paul Broadhurst 70 70 70 68, Alejandro Canizares 66 73 70 69, Joakim Haeggman 67 71 69 71, David Higgins 69 68 70 71, Richard McEvoy 69 68 73 68 Also -6: Scott Strange (Australia) 72 71 69 70 -4: Terry Pilkadaris (Australia) 71 71 71 71 -3: Peter Fowler (Australia) 73 71 70 71, Matthew Millar (Australia) 68 73 72 78, Wade Ormsby (Australia) 73 70 69 73