Sergio Garcia made it two European Tour victories in as many weeks with a superb one stroke win over fellow Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez in the Andalucia Masters at Valderrama.
Garcia who won last week’s Castello Masters, began the final round two shots clear of Jimenez and Christian Nilsson of Sweden. It was the veteran Spaniard, Jimenez who made the fastest start. Two birdies in his first three holes put him six-under-par. When Garcia dropped shots at the 6th and 7th holes, Jimenez took the lead.
Garcia took control again at the start of the back nine with birdies at the 11th and 14th holes. Jimenez stumbled with bogeys on the 13th and 15th, giving Garcia something of a cushion as he approached the challenging closing stretch.
But Jimenez was not prepared to give in that easily and he bounced back with birdies at the 16th and 17th holes. Garcia had to make a superb up-and-down at the 16th to stay six-under, he then had to hold on and par the last two holes to take the win. On the 18th, he missed the green in regulation but made an excellent up-and-down to stay ahead of Jimenez by a single stroke.
“It’s very, very special,” said the 31-year-old. “Valderrama – I have so much history here and unfortunately it wasn’t as good as this until now! Miguel fought so hard and had some good chances coming in, 17 for eagle and 18 for birdie. I wasn’t as good as probably the last 13 days, but we hung on and managed to pull through.”
The victory will put Garcia back inside the World’s top-20 and it puts him to the top of the European Ryder Cup points list.
Richie Ramsay of Scotland tied Garcia for the lead at one point on the back nine but a shanked tee shot on the par-3 15th led to a double bogey and the end of his hopes. He fought well to secure third place on his own, one shot ahead of Ireland’s Shane Lowry in fourth.
Club de Golf Valderrama, Sotogrande, Spain
Oct 27-30, purse €3,000,000, par 71
1 Sergio Garcia (Esp) 70 70 67 71 278 €500,000
2 Miguel Angel Jimenez (Esp) 71 70 68 70 279 €333,330
3 Richie Ramsay (Sco) 65 72 73 70 280 €187,800
4 Shane Lowry (Irl) 72 71 71 67 281 €150,000
5 Steve Webster (Eng) 75 72 66 69 282 €127,200
6 Gregory Havret (Fra) 68 71 76 68 283 €105,000
T7 Alejandro Canizares (Esp) 71 72 71 70 284 €82,500
T7 Christian Nilsson (Swe) 73 71 65 75 284 €82,500
9 Stephen Dodd (Wal) 71 73 74 67 285 €67,200
T10 Francesco Molinari (Ita) 71 73 71 71 286 €57,600
T10 Peter Hanson (Swe) 72 71 73 70 286 €57,600
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage
PGA Tour: Bo Van Pelt wins CIMB Classic