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Nacho Elvira edges out Thomas Pieters in thrilling finish at Soudal Open

Nacho Elvira won his second DP World Tour title as he held off the challenge of former Ryder Cup star Thomas Pieters at the Soudal Open.

Elvira entered the final round in Belgium with a four-shot lead but had to battle to a level-par 71 that left the door open to the chasing pack.

Home favourite Pieters, who joined LIV Golf last year, led the charge with a 66 but came up one shot short as Elvira held his nerve down the stretch to finish at 18 under.

Dane Niklas Norgaard had a putt on the last to force a play-off but missed from 12 feet to card a 68, a score matched by Frenchman Romain Langasque as the pair finished at 17 under alongside Pieters.

"I'm very happy," said Elvira. "I was a little bit emotional because I know all the hard work that I put in that sometimes doesn't show. I couldn't ask for anything better.

"I wasn't feeling comfortable off the tee today, my driving was a little bit off and you really need to hit it straight here.

"It was all hard because I knew I wasn't hitting it good but I tried to keep it in play and I tried to hold on to it."

Elvira led by five after a birdie on the first but would only add one more at the 11th, dropping shots at the seventh and 10th.

Pieters — who represented Europe in a losing effort in 2016 — made six birdies and a single bogey but was left to rue a poor tee-shot at the 17th that meant he could not take advantage of the par five.

England's Joe Dean, who was working as a delivery driver for Morrisons in February, finished two shots off the lead alongside countryman Matthew Jordan.

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