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Dubuisson wins Turkish Airlines Open

(Photo: Getty Images)
Victor Dubuisson survived an intense challenge from a high-profile chasing pack to claim his maiden European Tour title by two shots in the Turkish Airlines Open by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

The Frenchman took a five stroke lead into the final round at the Montgomerie Maxx Royal and that cushion proved vital for the 23 year old, with the likes of Ian Poulter, Tiger Woods, Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson hot on his heels.

In the end it was Jamie Donaldson who proved to be his closest rival, the Welshman drawing level at the top of the leaderboard with a stunning hole-in-one on the 16th hole which won him 1 million Turkish Airlines air miles before setting the clubhouse target of 22 under par with a birdie on the last for a magnificent nine under par round of 63.

However, Dubuisson, who had started with nine successive pars before his first birdie of the day on the tenth, found an extra gear on the back nine to pull clear once more. After bouncing back from his only bogey of the day on the 14th hole with a birdie on the 15th, the former World Amateur Number One responded impressively to Donaldson's threat by finishing with back-to-back birdies for a final round of 69 and winning total of 24 under par.

It was a calm display of front running from Dubuisson, whose positive approach paid off under pressure from some of the world's leading players.

"It feels so great," said Dubuisson, who had finished third three times on The European Tour. "It hasn't sunk in that I just won such a big tournament. Tiger, Henrik Stenson, Justin Rose, they were all in contention with me today.

"So it's a really great feeling, and I'm really proud of what I did because it was the toughest golf day of my life. I'm played great on the front nine. I was struggling on the greens. On this course, level par is a good score, but with this level of players, you cannot win a tournament with a level par score, even with a five"‘shot lead.

"On the back nine, I tried to do my best to make some birdies, and I had this great putt on 17. It's one of those putts that you make to make a dream come true. Everything feels like a dream right now."

Dubuisson's victory in the penultimate event of the 2013 season elevates him from 49th on The Race to Dubai to ninth, with just next week's DP TOUR World Championship remaining.

Donaldson's second place also moves him inside the top ten that qualifies for the end of season bonus pool, up from 16th to fifth position.

US Open Champion Rose did his chances of landing the European Number One spot a second time no harm with a closing 65 for a share of third place with World Number One Woods (67), with Rose disappointed to drop a shot on the last.

He said: "I think I've gained some ground. It's nice to be able to control your own fate next week. If I go in and have a good week, win a golf tournament, that's going to obviously be the exact scenario I'm looking for. I was fifth last week and tied third this week, so I like the way that's trending towards number one."

Poulter picked up four shots in the opening 11 holes, but his challenge ran out of steam with a sole birdie, a bogey and five pars over the last seven holes adding up to a 69 and 19 under par. The Englishman shared fifth position with Frenchman Raphaël Jacquelin (68), while Stenson recovered from a one over par front nine with four birdies after the turn in a round of 69 to share seventh position on 18 under par with Bernd Wiesberger (64) and Marc Warren (65).

That means the Swede remains on top of The Race to Dubai heading into next week's season finale, with Rose now his nearest rival some €213,468 adrift.

"I feel like it could have been even my week this week the way I played and the chances I gave myself," said Stenson. "I'm still happy with the week though and thanks to a few of the other guys, I've still got the lead heading into the last week."

Marcus Fraser was the best of the two Australians in the field when he finished 29th while Brett Rumford was 72nd. Both have made the DP World Championship in Dubai next week.

Leading final round scores

264 V Dubuisson (Fra) 67 65 63 69,

266 J Donaldson (Wal) 68 67 68 63,

268 T Woods (USA) 70 63 68 67, J Rose (Eng) 70 66 67 65,

269 I Poulter (Eng) 66 66 68 69, R Jacquelin (Fra) 67 72 62 68,

270 M Warren (Sco) 69 70 66 65, B Wiesberger (Aut) 68 72 66 64, H Stenson (Swe) 64 68 69 69,

271 J Walters (RSA) 66 66 70 69, R Fisher (Eng) 68 68 70 65,

272 G Coetzee (RSA) 66 71 68 67, P Casey (Eng) 66 73 67 66, J Quesne (Fra) 67 69 68 68,

273 T Aiken (RSA) 71 67 66 69, C Wood (Eng) 69 70 65 69, D Fichardt (RSA) 64 73 71 65,

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