Spain’s Sergio Garcia defeated Mikko Ilonen of Finland at the third hole of a sudden-death playoff to win the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters at the Doha Golf Club.
Garcia missed out by a single shot in last year’s event when Chris Wood of England eagled the home hole and, after the Spaniard missed an eight-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole of regulation play this time round, he had to look on as those finishing behind tried to steal it away from him once again.
Mikko Ilonen of Finland matched Garcia’s clubhouse total of 16-under-par with birdies at his 16th and 18th holes. On the last he had to hole out from some 20 feet to square things up with the Spaniard.
Rafael Cabrera-Bello of Spain needed an eagle at the last to tie Ilonen and Garcia, but his chip from behind the green came up short. Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen had also needed a three at the home hole to tie. He had a great chance with a putt from 15 feet, but he narrowly missed.
So it was left to Garcia and Ilonen to fight it out over extra holes. The players returned to the 18th where both found the putting surface in two blows and both two putted. Back to the tee and both made birdies again – Ilonen with two putts from 20 feet and Garcia with a sand-save from the greenside bunker.
At the third time of asking, Ilonen found the sand with his second and Garcia hit the green in two. The Finn was unable to get up-and-down, and Garcia tapped in for victory after his eagle attempt had narrowly missed. It was an 11th European Tour title for the Spaniard who has moved into the top-10 on the Official World Golf Ranking with the win.
“It feels good,” he said. “It’s been an amazing week and I’m very happy to be able to win it.”
Commercial Bank Qatar Masters
Doha GC, Doha, Qatar
Jan 22-25, purse €1,850,000, par 72
1 Sergio Garcia (Esp) 71 67 69 65 272 €305,232
2 Mikko Ilonen (Fin) 68 67 71 66 272 €203,486
T3 Rafa Cabrera-Bello (Esp) 66 65 73 69 273 €103,109
T3 Thorbjorn Olesen (Den) 68 69 68 68 273 €103,109
T5 Thomas Aiken (RSA) 67 68 70 69 274 €60,620
T5 Alejandro Canizares (Esp) 68 68 73 65 274 €60,620
T5 George Coetzee (RSA) 64 69 73 68 274 €60,620
T5 Steve Webster (Eng) 65 69 70 70 274 €60,620
T9 Magnus Carlsson (Swe) 69 71 70 65 275 €38,826
T9 Dawie Van der Walt (RSA) 65 72 70 68 275 €38,826
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage
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