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
"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).