BARCELONA, May 8, 2011 (AFP) - South Africa's Thomas Aiken broke his European Tour title duck here on Sunday in the Spanish Open and dedicated the victory to golfing legend Seve Ballestros who died early on Saturday.
The 27-year-old South African - who had taken a seven-week break prior to the tournament - shot a final round of two-under par 70 for a 10-under par total of 278 to win by two shots from Danish final round partner Anders Hansen.
"It's been a sad week with Seve passing away," said Aiken, who collected a winners cheque of just over 330,000 euros.
"I definitely want to dedicate this win to him with it being his home Open and what he gave to his home fans and to golf."
Aiken, who was continuing the great run of success for him and his compatriots this season which has seen them win five tournaments, said that it would take a while longer for him to come to terms with his achievement.
"I don't think it's quite hit home yet," said Aiken, who like his fellow golfers wore a black ribbon in honour of Ballesteros.
"I've been waiting for this for a long, long time and I've been knocking on the door. I'm ecstatic."
Hansen's birdie on the par five last saw him take second and demoted Scottish rookie Scott Jamieson into a share of joint third with the highest finishing Spaniard Pablo Larrazabal.
Jose Maria Olazabal, Ballesteros' close friend and with whom he forged a formidable partnership at successive Ryder Cups, battled on despite his sadness at the passing of his compatriot.
He shot a final round five-over par 77 to finish eight over.