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Go to whoa for Sullivan in Portugal

Andy Sullivan became the first man to win three European Tour events this season as he claimed a stunning wire-to-wire victory at the Portugal Masters.

The Englishman came into the final round with a five shot lead, and a round of 66 extended that to nine shots as he finished well clear of playing partner and compatriot Chris Wood on 23 under.

Overnight rain and a threat of storms had led to the shotgun start being delayed by two hours at Oceånico Victoria Golf Club, in Vilamoura, but Sullivan was unfazed as he added to The South African Open Championship Hosted by the City of Ekurhuleni and the Joburg Open titles he won earlier in the year.

The 28 year old became the fifth wire-to-wire winner of the season, and smashed the record winning margin for the event which had been established by Alexander Levy, the winner by three shots last year.

The win moves Sullivan into the top 50 of the Official World Golf Ranking, and means he has three wins in 23 events after not claiming a victory in his first 84 appearances on The European Tour.

Wood finished in second place on 14 under par after a round of 68, whilst third place was shared between Eduardo de la Riva, Trevor Fisher Jnr and Anthony Wall.

“It’s just absolutely incredible," said Sullivan soon after his win. "To lead from day one right through the final day, it’s nothing I’ve ever experienced before so I wasn’t sure how I’d cope, but I think I did alright. “It was a lot harder than I made it look. I knew I needed to keep going, keep pushing, and keep staying ahead.

"I felt like I never really got to relax until that second shot to the 18th, even though I knew I had a big lead. Golf’s a funny game, you just never know what can happen. It feels incredible to share it with my family and friends as well, it’s been a great week and one I’ll cherish for the rest of my life.”

Richard Green, a former winner of the event, was the leading Australian when he finished in a share of 18th.

Leading final round scores;

261 A Sullivan (Eng) 64 64 67 66, 270 C Wood (Eng) 68 69 65 68,

271 E De La Riva (Esp) 65 67 68 71, A Wall (Eng) 69 64 72 66, T Fisher Jnr (RSA) 66 68 70 67,

272 T Pieters (Bel) 65 66 72 69, J Campillo (Esp) 66 69 67 70, C Lee (Sco) 67 71 69 65,

273 E Espana (Fra) 70 67 69 67, L Bjerregaard (Den) 72 69 66 66, S Gallacher (Sco) 67 71 68 67, B Ritthammer (Ger) 69 66 73 65, R Rock (Eng) 70 67 70 66, M Korhonen (Fin) 69 69 69 66, G Mulroy (RSA) 69 67 70 67,

274 B Wiesberger (Aut) 68 64 72 70, D Drysdale (Sco) 65 71 69 69, 275 A Quiros (Esp) 67 68 71 69, R Green (Aus) 68 70 73 64, H Otto (RSA) 70 65 69 71, N Colsaerts (Bel) 64 71 68 72,

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