Jimenez holds on to win Crans crown
Miguel Angel Jimenez survived a late scare to win the Omega European Masters at Crans-sur-Sierre.
Miguel Angel Jimenez survived a late scare in Sunday’s final round to win the Omega European Masters at Crans-sur-Sierre in the Swiss Alps by three strokes.
Ryder Cup teammate Edoardo Molinari, last week’s winner, came from six behind after 11 holes to trail by only one with three to play, but fell away after a bogey at the par-three 16 and never got back in the hunt as Jimenez gritted his teeth and hung on, signing for a 67 and a 21 under par winning total of 263.
Earlier the 46-year-old Spaniard, six clear with seven to play, had looked briefly rattled when he saw what had looked to be an unassilable lead slashed to one by a charging Celtic Manor team-mate Edoardo Molinari and then hit a tree with his tee shot to the short 16th.
But the Italian, in a deep greenside bunker with his approach, was the one to bogey there, while Jimenez got up and down from a fairway bunker thanks to a magnificent chip for a birdie and, with a closing par, eventually beat Molinari by three shots
Five of Colin Montgomerie’s Ryder Cup side have now won since the start of August.
Jimenez’s follows the wins by Ross Fisher at the Irish Open, Martin Kaymer in the USPGA Championship, Peter Hanson at the Czech Open and Molinari in last week’s Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles.
Jimenez, making his 22nd successive trip to Crans-sur-Sierre, finally got his hands on the trophy with a four-under-par 67 and 21-under total of 263.
He becomes the eighth oldest winner in European Tour history and the first to record three victories this season.
Incredibly, 11 of his 18 titles have come since he turned 40 and he has earned £8million in that time compared to £5million in his previous 22 years as a professional.
“I made a good recovery at the 16th – that was probably the key to the day,” said Jimenez after being sprayed with champagne and then being encouraged to jump in the pond by the final green.
“I love to come here. It’s not only my two times second, it’s the amount of times I have finished top 10 and been in contention, so it means a lot.”
He was not the only one celebrating, however.
Molinari’s 17-year-old compatriot Matteo Manassero came third on 16 under following a 68 and with a cheque for more than £102,000 has secured a Tour card for next season in six starts as a professional.
“I am a full member for the first time. It was my goal and what I wanted to do and now I am here,” said last year’s British amateur champion.
Molinari himself now heads off for a three-week break before the Ryder Cup, having finished first and second in his last two events, while Jimenez has come seventh, third and first in his last three.
They were the only two members of Montgomerie’s team in the tournament.
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