Jimenez Earns Second Hong Kong Triumph

With a cast of big names and Asian Tour regulars battling it out for honours at the Hong Kong Open, it was left to someone who had done it before to take all the glory.

Spain’s Miguel Angel Jimenez surged up the leaderboard on the final day to win the tournament by one stroke from Sweden’s Robert Karlsson, who had seen a four-stroke third-round lead disappear.

Jimenez secured the title by firing a bogey on the final hole on Sunday for three-under-par 67 and a total of 265 at the Hong Kong Golf Club in Fanling.

Karlsson settled for second place alongside PGA Tour regular KJ Choi and Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee on 266.

The Swede closed with 72 after misjudging a bunker shot on the 18th and having to two-putt for a double bogey.

It was a cruel way for the Swede to lose the title, as Jimenez, who also won in Hong Kong in 2004, admitted on the Asian Tour’s website:

“It’s very nice to win again here, it’s great. I’ve been playing very well throughout the week, and, well, very pleased, happy indeed. The only down part is I feel, I have to say for Robert, the way it finished as he played so good the whole week. He had a double at the last, and it’s not the best way to finish as I know he wanted to win.”

The Hong Kong Open is co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and the European Tour and included golfers such as Nick Faldo, Mike Weir and Retief Goosen in the line-up.

Faldo, a favourite with the fans, completed four rounds 18 shots behind the winner, including a 68 on the opening day.

Not bad considering he is only playing for fun these days and his main role at the tourmament was as an ambassador.

Weir finished joint-12th with Australian Scott Strange and India’s Shiv Kapur on 271 while former US Open champion Goosen was among six players who totaled 273.

Last year’s winner, Spain’s Jose Manuel Lara, failed to make the cut by one stroke.

Jimenez’s victory made it a double for European players in Asia with England’s Ian Poulter winning the Dunlop Phoenix tournament in Miyazaki, Japan by a single stroke.

Poulter totaled 269 with Gonzalo F-Castano finished second, three strokes adrift. Last year’s winner, Ireland’s Padraig Harrington was six shots off the pace.

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