Starting the day on 10 under par, together with Michael Campbell of New Zealand, Miguel Jimenez of Spain produced a blistering five birdies in the first 10 holes of the Final Round to put him out of reach of the rest of the field in the 2012 UBS Hong Kong Open at the Fanling course.
With World No. 1 and reigning Open winner Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland not making the cut; former Open winner Colin Montgomerie of Scotland pulling out with a sore right foot after the First Round; and Campbell struggling to find his form on the final day, the way was clear for Jimenez.
With birdies at the 3rd, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th holes the 48-year-old Spaniard defied his age and forged ahead of the field in majestic style with flawless pars to secure the trophy. With a five under par Final Round, Jimenez had completed the Open’s four rounds 15 shots under par.
Campbell on the other hand, although making three birdies in the first 10 holes, dropped shots at the 3rd and 9th holes to be four shots down after 10 holes. He then had two further disasters making a bogy at the 14th and a double bogy at the 18th hole finishing two shots over par for the day.
Fredrik Andersson Hed of Sweden, finishing one shot behind Jimenez on 14 under par, took second place. He had birdie opportunities at both the 17th and 18th holes, but the putts did not drop.
The young Italian star Matteo Manassero was also in contention for most of the Final Round, but dropped shots towards the end of the round with bogies on the 13th and 18th holes to finish equal 4th with Peter Laurie of Ireland and Stephen Gallacher of Britain on 11 under par. Marcus Fraser of Australia with four birdies on the back nine holes finished third on 12 under par.
In winning the Hong Kong Open, Jimenez became the oldest-ever winner of a European Tour tournament. The three-time Open title winner had previously won at Fanling in 2004 and 2007—no other player has won more than once since the Open joined the European Tour for the 2002 season.
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