Cevaer takes European Open

Christian Cevaer of France won the European Open by a stroke Sunday, more than five years after his only previous victory.

ASH, England — Christian Cevaer of France won the European Open by a stroke Sunday, more than five years after his only previous victory.

Cevaer, ranked 449th in the world at the beginning of the week, made only one birdie in a round of 74 after three bogeys on the front nine, but was solid again on the tough closing stretch of the 7,257-yard London Golf Club course.

He birdied the 15th and parred the other four holes of the treacherous last five, getting on the final green with a rescue club before two-putting from the fringe for his victory. His four round total was 281, good for his first win since the 2004 Spanish Open.

Steve Webster and Gary Orr, with rounds of 71, shared second place with Alvaro Quiros (72).

The big-hitting Spaniard hit a spectator with his drive and another with his second over the green at the last, and could not get up and down from the rough.

The 471-yard 18th hole continued to trouble players, with numerous triple and double bogeys, as it has all week. But Cevaer parred it three times and birdied it once over the four rounds.

“I should frame that hole and take it home with me. I hit the fairway every day. Maybe being a short hitter is a help,” he said.

Johnson wins

RALEIGH, N.C. — Kevin Johnson birdied the first playoff hole Sunday to defeat Jeff Gallagher and win the Nationwide Tour’s Rex Hospital Open.

Gallagher shot a final-round 7-under 64 and wound up in a playoff when Johnson, playing in the final group, made a 4-footer for birdie at the par-5 18th.

“I just knew I had to make birdie on 18, and then I was like, ‘All right, I got a chance here,”’ Johnson said. “Honestly, that whole back nine, I didn’t think I was going to catch him.”

The players headed back to the 18th tee, and each reached the green in regulation. Gallagher rolled his six-footer for birdie by the hole, and Johnson knocked his in from five feet for his first Nationwide Tour win since 2006.

Gallagher had eight birdies and one bogey to finish at 18-under 266. Johnson, the third-round leader, made six birdies and two bogeys for a 67 in the final round.

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