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England's Brown wins maiden title at Portugal Masters

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(Reuters) – England’s Steven Brown shot a blemish-free final-round 66 to finish on 17 under par and win his first title on the European Tour by a single stroke at the Portugal Masters on Sunday.

Brown, who signed for a season-best 65 on Saturday and started the final round three shots off the lead, ended the day with three birdies and an eagle on the par-five 12th at the Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course in Vilamoura.

The Englishman forged ahead of South Africa’s Justin Walters and Brandon Stone, who were undone by two and three bogeys respectively in the final round to finish tied for second place.

Brown, who came into the tournament 150th in the Race to Dubai rankings, also secured his playing rights for 2020 with the victory.

“You just never know with this game… I never thought this was going to happen,” Brown said. “I was just counting down ready for Tour School to get my game ready for that.

“The last few weeks, I’ve had a calmness in my head. Even today I liked the fact that I had to go for it and I wasn’t just trying to have a good result. That’s probably the difference.”

France’s Adrien Saddier finished two shots behind Brown in fourth and England’s Chris Paisley was fifth.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)

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