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Warren cannot catch red-hot Bjerregaard in Portugal

Portugal Masters winner Lucas Bjerregaard (right) celebrates with some champagne
Portugal Masters
-20 L Bjerregaard (Den); -16 M Warren (Sco); -15 E Pepperell (Eng), G Storm (Eng); -14 R Gouveia (Por), JF Lima (Por)
Selected others: -12 C Syme (Sco), C Paisley (Eng); -11 M Armitage (Eng), S Jamieson (Sco); -10 P Harrington (Ire), J Thomson (Eng); -9 S Lowrie; -8 P Lawrie (Sco), R Knox (Sco)
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Scotland’s Marc Warren took a huge step towards retaining his European Tour card with second place behind Lucas Bjerregaard in the Portugal Masters.

The 26-year-old Dane fired eight birdies in a closing 65 to finish four strokes ahead of the Scot, 36, and secure his first European Tour title.

It was Warren’s best finish since January 2015 and catapulted him to 100th on the money list.

England’s Eddie Pepperell and Graeme Storm were a stroke further back.

Scotland’s Connor Syme, 22, in his first tournament since turning professional, tied for eighth.

Bjerregaard, who partnered Thorbjorn Olesen as Denmark won the inaugural GolfSixes in May, went into the final day one ahead of South Africa’s George Coetzee.

Marc Warren hits a shot in Portugal

Warren was a further stroke back along with Pepperell and Italy’s half-way leader, Nino Bartasio, at Dom Pedro Victoria in Vilamoura.

But his final round of 67 was not enough to challenge the Dane’s 20-under-par total as the Scot sought his first tour win since the Made In Denmark tournament in 2014.

Bjerregaard, who also came into the tournament battling to save his tour card, said: “It feels really good. It’s definitely not been the year I’ve been looking for.

“To be honest, it’s been really tough, so to be in contention again felt really good and to come out on top feels even better.

“I’ve been in this position a couple of times before so to finally come through and get my first win feels really good.”

Warren had closed to within two of the lead with an eagle from 20 feet on the 17th and, although he three-putted the last, his best result of the season lifted him from 173rd on the Race to Dubai to 100th.

Joel Stalter of France congratulates Connor Syme on the 18th green

Only the top 100 at the end of the season will retain full playing privileges for 2018.

Like Warren, Storm finished with a 67 to make up a stroke on compatriot Pepperell.

Syme’s 67 left him a further three strokes further back along with England’s Chris Paisley, who finished with a 70 in a tie for 12th.

Scotland’s Scott Jamieson and England’s Marcus Armitage were a stroke behind after they both finished with 68s.

Russell Knox, who had started the day level with compatriot Jamieson, fell back with a final-round 71 to finish level with Paul Lawrie in a group on eight under.

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BBC Sport – Golf

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