Age no barrier for Jimenez as he claims Hong Kong Open


Miguel Angel Jimenez fired a final round five-under 65 to become the oldest player to record a European Tour victory with a one-stroke triumph at the Hong Kong Open yesterday.

The Spaniard completed the tournament on 15 under par to edge out Sweden’s Fredrik Andersson Hed, who had earlier shot a 64, to secure a hat-trick of Hong Kong titles at the age of 48 years and 318 days.

Jimenez is 284 days older than Irishman Des Smyth was when he won the 2001 Madeira Islands Open and his triumph comes a week after Italy’s Matteo Manassero became the first teenager to claim a hat-trick of European Tour titles at the Singapore Open.

After also winning the Hong Kong title in 2005 and 2008, Jimenez saw off the challenge of joint-overnight leader Michael Campbell when the New Zealander fired a disappointing two-over 72 to slip down into a tie for eighth.

Campbell had been seeking a first victory since 2005, when he won the US Open and the World Match Play Championship.

Ireland’s Peter Lawrie shot a final round of 66 to secure joint-fourth place and a cheque for €66,400.

South Africa Open:Henrik Stenson fired a one-under-par final round of 71 to win the 102nd South African Open yesterday, helping him to qualify for the lucrative DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.

The Swede finished three strokes ahead of South Africa’s George Coetzee at the Serengeti Golf and Wildlife Estate to claim his seventh European Tour title.

Stenson started the day on 16-under-par after three impressive sub-70 rounds at the Jack Nicklaus-designed course and held a three-shot lead over Coetzee. He endured a nervy start and a double-bogey at the par-three ninth hole which rounded off a disappointing outward nine of 38.

Stenson regained his composure however, and made three birdies without a blemish on the way home to post a winning score of 271.

“I hit a couple of loose ones out there, and obviously the one on nine was a bit like that. . .

“Sometimes you need a poor one to wake you up and make you more determined so that you’re committed on the next one. I was in the driver’s seat for most of the week, so it was good the way it turned out. It’s nice to seal the deal and it wouldn’t have been nice not to.”

Coetzee, who still awaits his maiden European Tour victory, eagled the par-five third hole to send out a warning shot to his playing-partner Stenson.

Two successive bogeys followed, but he pushed the former Ryder Cup player all the way, and the pair were level walking down the 15th hole.

A bogey there ended his challenge as Stenson birdied the 16th and 17th to close out the event.

Martin Kaymer’s carded six birdies en route to a final round of 67 to finish 13-under-par and in joint third place alongside South African Thomas Aiken (67). Charl Schwartzel finished two further strokes adrift as a 67 saw the former Masters champion claim fifth place.

Stenson winner’s cheque of €158,500 secured his place in the Race to Dubai final next week.

Australian Open:Adam Scott’s nerveless finish to secure victory and a cheque for €145,000 in his home Australian Masters will give him more confidence to close out the big tournaments following his galling collapse at the British Open, the Australian said yesterday.

Scott showed ice in his veins to shoot a five-under 67 in tricky winds to pip Briton Ian Poulter by four strokes.

The win was world number five Scotts first since the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in August last year, and preserved his impressive record of securing at least one title for the past 11 years. “It was good to get back in that position and close the tournament out, that’s what I needed to do, and I’m very happy with that,” Scott said.

Japan Open:World number three Luke Donald claimed a comfortable five-shot win at the Dunlop Phoenix tournament in Japan on Sunday after the Englishman fired a final round three-under-par 68.

Donald collected the €386,000 winner’s cheque after finishing with a 16-under 268 total at the Phoenix Country Club in Miyazaki Prefecture.

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