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Sunday, June 17, 2007
Suneson wins Saint-Omer Open by three shots

Reuters

ST OMER, France -- Carl Suneson ended an 18-year wait for his first European tour title on Sunday when the 39-year-old Spaniard won the Saint-Omer Open by three shots.

A closing two-under par 69 for an eight-under 276 total allowed Suneson to head Australian veteran Peter Fowler, Briton Marcus Higley and Frenchman Francois Calmels for the $111,320 first prize.

"It's all worthwhile now, it's a challenge just to play this game professionally," Suneson told reporters.

"I've had thyroid and diabetes problems which often held me back, but knowing there's always room for improvement in my game has kept me going."

Suneson came to Saint-Omer languishing in 188th place on the European tour money list with a 14th visit to a qualifying school in prospect.

He began the final day a stroke ahead of Higley, had doubled that advantage by the turn and increased it coming home. Suneson could even afford a three-putt bogey on the last.

His first full tour success, the tour's 13th maiden win of the season, ensured a one-year exemption for the 2008 season.

Suneson, born in the Canary Islands to an English mother and Swedish father, chose Spain for his professional career which started in 1989.

He can now look forward to a start in next week's lucrative BMW International in Munich and he automatically qualifies for the Champions tournament in China later in the year, for which world number one Tiger Woods has qualified.

Fowler birdied the last for a 70 to share second place with Calmels (69) and Higley (71).