Dubuisson had to fight demons in his head to win in Turkey

Mon Nov 11, 2013 12:37am EST
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By Tony Jimenez

BELEK, Turkey (Reuters) - Victor Dubuisson had to repel challenges from golfing heavyweights Tiger Woods, Justin Rose and Ian Poulter to land the Turkish Open title on Sunday but the biggest fight the Frenchman had to win was with himself.

An unheralded Dubuisson began the final round at the Montgomerie Maxx Royal course on the Mediterranean coast of Antalya holding a five-stroke lead and knew he had to be mentally strong to claim the first European Tour victory of his career.

Asked if it was a tougher task battling away the demons in his head than taking on world number one Woods, U.S. Open champion Rose, Ryder Cup hero Poulter and money-list leader Henrik Stenson, the 23-year-old replied: "Fighting myself of course.

"I am very proud of the way I fought myself ... because it was the toughest day of my golfing life," Dubuisson told reporters. "I played great on the front nine but I struggled on the greens.

"On this course level-par is a good score but against this level of players you cannot win a tournament with a level-par score, even with a five-shot lead," he said after leaving Woods, Rose, Poulter and Stenson trailing in his wake.

"On the back nine I tried my best to make some birdies and I made a great putt on 17. It was one of those putts you make to make a dream come true," he said of the 25-footer that effectively put the seal on his title triumph.

Dubuisson was rock solid on the outward half as he reeled off nine straight pars. Then, just when he needed it most, he found the inner resolve to step up a gear.

The Frenchman dropped his first shot of the day at the 14th, falling back into a three-way tie for the lead with Rose and Welshman Jamie Donaldson who were playing in the same group two holes ahead.   Continued...

Victor Dubuisson of France poses with his trophy after his victory at the inaugural Turkish Airlines Open in the south west city of Antalya November 10, 2013. REUTERS/Umit Bektas