Jean Van de Velde savoured a rare victory on the European Tour by winning the Madeira Island Open.

But the man who famously lost the Open at Carnoustie in 1999 made it hard for himself, shooting a double-bogey six at the last hole after a poor chip from the back of the green.

Van de Velde finished the day on 68 for a 15-under-par 273 total, with England's Lee Slattery one shot back after a superb 66.

Frenchman Van de Velde insisted he had remained calm at the final hole.

The 39-year-old said: "My nerves were not playing up. That's the thing with getting older. I made the walk up the last an interesting one, that's all.

"I hit my three-wood into the rough and then found the nastiest patch of grass on the course at the back of the green.

"The only problem was if I duffed my shot again but that was not going to happen.

"What happened many years ago (at Carnoustie) was freak circumstances. That kind of thing is not going to happen twice."

Van de Velde's last victory on the European Tour came in the 1993 Roma Masters.

Since then he has struggled for form and fitness with a knee injury hampering his progress.

But the overnight leader set a fierce early pace yesterday, going out in 31 with six birdies and one bogey and was never caught.

He said: "I played really well and hit great shots one after another.

"I could not have dreamt of making a better start to the year. My life has been blessed in the past few months."

Slattery, from Southport, edged out Spaniard Pedro Linhart for runners-up spot after holing a long birdie putt at the last hole.

"The ball never left the middle of the cup and it was great to see it drop," he said.

It was just the boost Slattery needed following a difficult time which saw him lose his card almost as quickly as he gained it.

He stormed to the Challenge Tour title in 2004 after giving up his job in a clothes shop after just six months, deciding it was not for him.

But he found it difficult at a higher level last year and is working his way back.

Slattery said: "This is just what I need to get my confidence up.

"I am also made up for my mum and dad. They have given me a lot of good advice and told me to keep my chin up.

"One thing for certain is I will not be going back to working in the shop. What it taught me was to work harder on my game."

Birmingham's Tom Whitehouse, who had gone into the weekend full of hope and only four shots behind the leader, had to settle for joint seventh place after a final round 70 yesterday.

Having struggled to emulate his 65 on Friday with a one-under-par 71 on Saturday, it required too much to haul himself back into contention. Still, the former top amateur in Warwickshire finished best of the Midland contingent.

Droitwich Spa's John Bickerton was joint 36th despite an excellent 67 in his closing round which took him to two-under for the tournament, while Tettenhall's Peter Baker, the vice-captain of the European team for the Ryder Cup, was two shots behind after a closing 70. Sam Walker, Whitehouse's cousin, was unable to maintain his sub-par rounds of the first two days with a closing 75 to end one-over-par.