Jimenez Coasts to Three-Shot Victory in Bmw Asian Open

Sun 16 May 2004

Jimenez Coasts to Three-Shot Victory in Bmw Asian Open

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Shanghai, May 16: Miguel Angel Jimenez completed his Asian double by winning the US$1.5 million BMW Asian Open by three shots after runaway overnight leader Simon Dyson self-destructed and challenger Prayad Marksaeng faded in the final round today.Jimenez, a 40-year-old cigar-chomping, pony-tailed Spaniard, overcame a six-shot deficit with his closing five-under-par 67 and drove off with his third European Tour victory of the year, and his career 10th success at Tomson Golf Club.
Englishman Dyson, who had led from the opening round, stumbled to a 76 to finish second while Thailand's Prayad, 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 and settled for third place.
The BMW Asian Open is the first event in mainland China to be jointly sanctioned by the Asian and European Tours and China Golf Association.
"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. Today's come from behind triumph 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 this week, stumbled down the stretch as Jimenez coasted home.
Dyson said: "Everything went against me. I didn??t drive the ball very well, 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.
Leading final round scores
274 - Miguel Angel Jimenez (ESP) 71-66-70-67
277 - Simon Dyson (ENG) 66-69-66-76
278 - Prayad Marksaeng (THA) 67-73-67-71
279 - Choi Kyung-ju (KOR) 67-73-71-68
280 - Paul McGinley (IRE) 68-69-72-71, Zhang Lian-wei (CHN) 70-69-70-71, Adam Groom (AUS) 69-69-71-71
281 - Unho Park (AUS) 71-71-72-67, Jean-Francois Lucquin (FRA) 72-66-70-73
282 - Greg Hanrahan (USA) 67-71-75-69, Jeev Milkha Singh (IND) 71-71-70-70, Marcus Both (AUS) 68-71-73-70, Jyoti Randhawa (IND) 70-74-68-70
283 - Mo Joong-kyung (KOR) 72-71-73-67, Alex Cejka (GER) 68-70-72-73
284 - Paul Eales (ENG) 73-71-69-71
285 - Terry Pilkadaris (AUS) 75-71-70-69, Rafael Ponce (ECU) 69-74-72-70, Sam Walker (ENG) 72-73-68-72
286 - Benn Barham (ENG) 74-70-73-69, Andrew Raitt (ENG) 71-72-73-70, Chris Gane (ENG) 70-70-75-71, Adam Fraser (AUS) 74-68-73-71, Gary Emerson (ENG) 70-71-74-71, Thaworn Wiratchant (THA) 72-68-75-71, Eddie Lee (NZL) 72-73-70-71, Tom Whitehouse (ENG) 75-69-70-72, Des Terblanche (RSA) 71-72-67-76
BMW and Golf
BMW Group started its association with the golf sport back in 1985. The company herewith confirmed the growing importance of the international golf sport by being the organiser of professional and amateur tournaments. With over 35 countries and over 100,000 players the BMW Golf Cup International has grown into one of the world's biggest amateur golf competitions. The BMW International Open in Munich will take place for the 16th time this year and has definitely developed into one of the most important on the European Tour. Having established this tournament as a premium annual event, BMW launched the BMW Asian Open in 2001. The first two tournaments were held in Taiwan while this year's competition will take place in Shanghai, China. In addition to these tournaments, BMW is supporting the BMW Russian Open taking place every year in Moscow, the Heineken Classic in Melbourne, Australia and the Dubai Desert Classic.