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SULLIVAN SEALS HAT-TRICK OF WINS

Wire-to-wire victory at the Portugal Masters For Englishman

Andy Sullivan became the first man to win three European Tour events this season and came into the final round with a five shot lead and a 66 extended that to nine shots as he finished on 23 under and saw off the challenge of playing partner Chris Wood.

Overnight rain and a threat of storms had led to the shotgun start being delayed by two hours at Oceånico Victoria Golf Club 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.

A stunning, curling 25-foot putt on the fourth then moved Sullivan to 19 under and when he found the fifth green in two and left his eagle putt right next to the hole, it was back-to-back birdies.

De la Riva also made a birdie to get to 13 under but nobody was able to put any pressure on the leader whose cushion was seven shots.

The Spaniard picked up another shot on the tricky seventh - which had yielded just 25 birdies over the first three days - but he gave it back on the ninth and Sullivan remained comfortable at the turn.

De la Riva dropped further shots on the tenth and 12th to end his chances while back-to-back birdies on the 11th and 12th moved Wood to 14 under.

The 12th was proving gettable in the final round and Jorge Campillo made an eagle to get to 14 under while Trevor Fisher Jnr had also moved into a share of second with five birdies.

The lead was briefly extended to seven shots courtesy of Sullivan’s third birdie of the day on the 14th but Campillo ahead on the 15th made a gain of his own to move into second spot all alone at 15 under.

Birdies on the 17th and 18th then moved the leader to 23 under as a bogey on the last from De la Riva, who had birdied the 13th, 15th and 17th, handed Wood second place.

“Apprehensive to start, I was a little bit edgy and I think that putt on four really settled me down and from there onwards I just felt really comfortable all the way round,” Sullivan added.

“I didn’t really feel like I took that many risks until the end there and I just thought I’d play within myself and let them try and catch me.

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