Jimenez wins playoff to defend Hong Kong Open title|
Fanling, Hong Kong (SportsNetwork.com) - Miguel Angel Jimenez birdied the
first playoff hole on Sunday to defeat Stuart Manley and Prom Meesawat and
successfully defend his title at the Hong Kong Open.
With the victory, the 49-year-old Jimenez broke his own record as the oldest
winner in the history of the European Tour, a record he set when he won this
event last year.
"I love this place, I love this golf course, I love the tournament," said
Jimenez, who earned his 20th career win on the European Tour, carded a 4-under
66 during his final round to finish the tournament at 12-under-par 66.
Meesawat matched the low round of the day with a 5-under 65, while third-round
leader Manley shot 2-under 68 to meet Jimenez there.
Robert-Jan Derksen also shot a 65 at Hong Kong Golf Club to finish in fourth
place at 11-under 269. Javier Colomo (66), Angelo Que (68) and Jose Manuel
Lara (70) shared fifth at 8-under.
Jimenez, Manley and Meesawat returned to the 18th tee for the playoff and all
three found the fairway with their drive.
Jimenez was the only one to find the green with his next shot, though, as
Meesawat's second settled short of the green and Manley hit his second well to
the right, striking a hospitality tent.
After Meesawat and Manley hit their next shots onto the green, Jimenez secured
his fourth career win at this event with a bending 18-foot birdie putt.
"I played so well and I holed some putts, and the one in the playoff gave me
victory," Jimenez stated.
Manley entered the final round with a 1-stroke lead, but moments before he
took the course, Meesawat followed a birdie at the second by rolling in an
eagle at the third to meet the Welshman at 10-under.
After Manley traded an opening bogey with a birdie at the third to retain his
share of first place, Meesawat birdied the sixth to claim the outright lead.
Manley answered with a birdie at the fourth to meet Meesawat at 11-under
before 3-putting for bogey at the fifth.
Manley again bounced right back with a birdie at the sixth to rejoin Meesawat
atop the leaderboard, but continued his up-and-down round with a bogey at the
seventh to drop into a tie for second place with Richard Finch and Wade
Derksen would birdie the 11th and 12th to make it a four-way tie for second
before Manley birdied the eighth from outside 10 feet to move back into a tie
for first with Meesawat at minus-11.
Manley then bogeyed the 10th to fall back to 10-under and into a share of
second place with Derksen and Jimenez, who had two birdies and nine pars over
his first 11 holes.
Meesawat took advantage with an eagle at the 13th to open up a 3-stroke lead
His lead dropped to two strokes following his bogey at the 14th, and he would
par his final four holes to claim the clubhouse lead at 12-under.
Jimenez, meanwhile, poured in back-to-back gains at the 13th and 14th to grab
a share of first place.
He 3-putted for bogey at the 15th to fall a shot behind, but answered with a
birdie at the 17th to move back to 12-under. The Spaniard got up and down for
par from a greenside bunker at the last to finish there.
Manley then closed strong to make it a 3-way playoff. He pulled within a
stroke of the leaders with a birdie at the 15th and after missing the green
with his second shot at the par-4 18th, he chipped in for a birdie to join
Meesawat and Jimenez at 12-under.
"I'm pretty pleased," said Manley. "Obviously I'm disappointed to lose in a
playoff with a poor shot, but for Miguel to make birdie is pretty special. It
was pretty special to make three myself to get into the playoff. So I can take
a lot from the week."
NOTES: Jimenez also won here in 2005 and 2008. He joins Hsieh Yung-yo as the
only four-time winners of this event ... Jimenez collected 159,063 euros with
the victory ... Manley's second-place finish is the best of his career. His
previous best was ninth place at the 2010 Iberdrola Open Cala Millor Mallorca
... Thirteen of Jimenez's 20 career wins on the European Tour have come after
the age of 40.
12/08 07:08:54 ET