10 years of magic: 2004 Asian Open

Sat 28 Sep 2013

10 years of magic: 2004 Asian Open

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In this latest instalment of our looking back series, we relive all the action from the Asian Open back in 2004 where Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez won the US$1.5 million event to clinch his third European Tour victory that year as well as his career’s 10th success.
The 2004 BMW Asian Open was held at the Tomson Shanghai Pudong Golf Club in China from May 13-16.
Jimenez, who was 40 years old then, had overcame a six-shot deficit with his closing five-under-par 67 for a three-shot victory over England’s Simon Dyson, who stumbled to a 76 to finish second after leading for the first three rounds.
Thailand’s Prayad Marksaeng, who raised hope for an Asian victory when he led by two after 11 holes, faded over the closing stages with four bogeys for a 71 to settle for third place.
“I played very well from the middle of last season and I’ve surprised myself with three victories this year. The game is very difficult to win. To win one is difficult and to win three times is very nice,” said Jimenez, who totalled 14-under-par 274 and won US$250,000.
Life indeed does begin at 40 as Jimenez won the Johnnie Walker Classic in Thailand in January and later the Algarve Portugal Open in April that year. This come from behind triumph at the Asian Open hauled him to second place on the European Order of Merit and cemented his spot in the Ryder Cup side.
With Dyson dropping shots with wayward drives and Asian Tour star Prayad stumbling after an outstanding outward 32, Jimenez, who turned in 34, moved into a tie for the lead when he brilliantly chipped in on the par five 13th hole.
“The eagle on 13 helped a lot. I had 30 meters to the hole. When I hit it, I saw it had a chance to go into the hole. And then it bounced on the green and disappeared. That was very very good,” said Jimenez, who overcame a bogey on 17 with a birdie at the last hole in front of a large gallery. “I concentrated only on my own game today. The only way to shoot a good score was to concentrate about my own game. I needed to be aggressive, the same way I was aggressive yesterday although I didn’t finish good yesterday with bogey on 16 and 18. Today, I was aggressive and got the results and birdied the first two holes which got me going.”
Prayad was disappointed to let slip the chance of victory with four bogeys in his closing six holes. “I felt really good when I took the lead on the 11th hole but after I missed a very short putt for par on the 13th hole everything changed after that. I made some bad shots and got distracted on 14 before I hit my bunker shot and hit it well over the pin and dropped a bogey.
“I got unlucky again on the 16th hole when I hit my three wood into thick rough and had no chance to save par. I needed to birdie 17 to have a chance but my tee shot hit the slope and rolled away from the pin and I missed another short putt for bogey. It’s very disappointing but I think Miguel shot a very good score to win. I’ll try again next time,” said the Thai, who picked up a cheque of US$93,900.
Dyson, who won US$166,660, didn’t have the start he wanted with bogeys on the first and fifth holes before a brief reprieve with a birdie on the sixth. He missed a two-foot par putt on nine which playing partner Prayad holed a monster 50 foot birdie to tie for the lead.
A clearly rattled Dyson bogeyed the 10th and Prayad surged two clear of the field with a 15-foot birdie on the 11th. But the stocky Thai, who impressed Greg Norman that week, stumbled down the stretch as Jimenez coasted home.
Dyson said: “Everything went against me. I didn’t drive the ball very well and every bounce was going against me. I had putts lipping out when yesterday they were going in. Never mind, still second. Coming into the week, I would have taken second and I know I was six ahead. Second is my best finish ever on the European Tour and it has got me hell of a lot closer to getting my European card next year which is the best news ever.
“I got shook straight away with a bogey on the first and Prayad goes birdie, birdie (second and third holes) and he holed a bunker shot on three. And straight away I’m down to three shots and I thinking bloody hell. I then bogey the fifth and down to two and it changed on nine when I missed a short putt. It was then a case of trying to get a few pars. When I saw Miguel was 14 under when I came to the 16th hole, I knew it was over.”
Korea’s Choi Kyung-ju finished fourth on 279 after a closing 68 while China’s Zhang Lian-wei, who signed for a finishing 71, came in joint fifth with Ireland’s Paul McGinley and Australian Adam Groom.
Ends.
About the Asian Tour
In 2013, the Asian Tour will celebrate a momentous milestone with its 10th season. As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Abacus (Official Apparel Partner), Canon (Official Imaging Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Saxo Capital Markets (Official Statistics Partner), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Srixon (Official Ball), Subway (Official Quick Service Restaurant), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Official Hotels and Resorts) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.com, www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf, www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf, www.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf.