Jimenez wins Hong Kong Open
Miguel Angel Jimenez (AFP)
Hong Kong - Defending champion Miguel Angel Jimenez has won the $1.3 million Hong
Kong Open in a three-way playoff Sunday, clinching the title for a
record-equalling fourth time and securing his 20th European Tour
The 49-year-old Spaniard birdied the first extra hole at
the Hong Kong Golf Club to defeat Thailand's Prom Meesawat and Stuart
Manley of Wales and collect a winner's cheque of $216,660.
raised his arm to the air as a fifteen-foot-plus putt dropped into the
hole on the eighteenth green -- much to the delight of an adoring crowd
in the southern Chinese city.
The victory saw the popular Jimenez
match the Taiwanese Hsieh Yung-yo's four wins at Fanling in the 1960s
and 1970s and break the record he set last year as the oldest European
"It's very nice to win a fourth title and for two years in a row," a delighted Jimenez said. "It's a very sweet victory."
Jimenez played the extra hole perfectly, hitting his tee shot past his opponents and into a prime position far down the fairway.
"In the playoff I know I needed to make something," he said afterwards, enjoying his trademark cigar and glass of red wine.
"I thought I needed to make a birdie. I hit a beautiful drive down the middle of the fairway then hit a wedge.
"To win in that style makes it even more sweet."
started the day two shots behind overnight leader Manley but soon
closed the gap with birdies at 3, 11, 13 and 14 as the Welshmen traded
bogeys with birdies in an inconsistent round.
As the Spaniard
ticked along nicely Prom -- playing in the group ahead of Jimenez -- was
tearing up the course to propel himself up the leaderboard.
eagles and two birdies put the Thai golfer in the lead on his own at the
co-sanctioned European Tour and Asian Tour event before a disappointing
bogey at the 14th.
When the Spaniard bogeyed the 15th, the title
looked to be heading Prom's way until Jimenez bounced back with a
birdie at 17 after missing a good opportunity to pull level on 16.
and Prom appeared to be set for a head-to-head in the playoff until
Manley dramatically chipped in at the last for birdie and the three
headed back down the eighteenth.
There, Manley hit a wayward iron
which struck the roof of the hospitality tent, while Prom came up short
of the green. Both were heading for fours when Jimenez rolled his putt
"It's always hard to win a tournament," Jimenez told reporters. "All the players are good and you have to respect all of them.
main thing was I never stopped telling myself to stay calm, live the
moment and let everything happen," he said, adding that he would be back
in Hong Kong next year to try for a fifth win.
Manley, whose tie
for second position was his highest in a European Tour event, said: "It
was pretty special for me to even get into the play-off so I can take a
lot from that."
Prom, who was two shots ahead at one stage on Sunday, said: "It's been an amazing week for me so I don't feel disappointed.
"It's my best finish in this event and I am pretty happy with the way I am playing right now."
who will turn 50 next month, won the Hong Kong Open in 2004, 2007 and
2012 when at 48 years and 318 days he became the oldest winner on the
Final scores after the fourth round of the $1.3 million Hong Kong Open on Sunday at the Hong Kong Golf Club, Fanling (par 70):
(Miguel Angel Jimenez* won on a playoff)
268 - Prom Meesawat (THA) 66-70-67-65, Miguel Angel Jimenez* (ESP) 70-67-65-66, Stuart Manley (WAL) 67-67-66-68
269 - Robert-Jan Derksen (NED) 69-67-68-65
272 - Javier Colomo (ESP) 72-66-68-66, Angelo Que (PHI) 69-67-68-68, Jose Manuel Lara (ESP) 69-68-65-70
- Andrea Pavan (ITA) 65-72-68-68, Richard Finch (ENG) 70-67-68-68, Joel
Sjoholm (SWE) 68-70-65-70, Wade Ormsby (AUS) 67-68-66-72
Chawalit Plaphol (THA) 69-70-69-66, Oliver Fisher (ENG) 68-70-67-69,
Anirban Lahiri (IND) 68-70-67-69, David Lipsky (USA) 69-68-67-70, Alex
Cejka (GER) 68-67-68-71, Shiv Kapur (IND) 69-66-66-73
279 - Edoardo Molinari (ITA) 72-69-68-70
281 - Thorbjorn Olesen (DEN) 69-71-70-71