Jimenez Makes History in Hong Kong

By Les Bailey
Miguel Angel Jimenez

Miguel Angel Jimenez broke all kinds of European Tour records Sunday, and wins the UBS Hong Kong Open for the third time by one stroke over Fredrik Andersson Hed. Jimenez shot a bogey free -5 under par 65 closing round at the Hong Kong Golf Club to become the oldest winner by 284 days, in European Tour history. He won the UBS Hong Kong Open in 2005  and 2008. This is his first win since the 2010 Omega European Masters.

Jimenez went on a birdie run at the par four 7th hole that continued through the tenth, and put his game in cruise control with pars down the stretch to capture the title. The victory pushes Jimenez up to 27th in Race To Dubai points, and a berth in the DP World Championships, Dubai, which gets underway this week.

Fredrik Andersson Hed also shot a bogey free fourth round 66, and joined Jimenez and Barclays Singapore Open winner, Matteo Manassero at the top of the leader board for a time on Sunday, but would come up one stroke short at the end of the day. Manassero made bogeys at the 10th and 18th holes, and finished four strokes back.

American Matt Kuchar had another up and down day, and finishes with a -3 under par 67 alone in seventh place. Kuchar made Eagle at the par five 13th hole, but gave one back at 16. He birdied out, to post the 67. Kuchar appeared to be having trouble during this tournament getting on track. The Americans aren’t used to the drastic time changes the European players routinely deal with, and Kuchar looked to be having jet lag problems.

Michael Campbell, who had a piece of the third round lead with Jimenez, shot a final round two over par 72 on Sunday, and fell back into a tie for 8th with Spain’s Pablo Larrazabal. The New Zealander finished the front nine at even par 34, but made a double bogey at the 18th. His finish in Hong Kong leaves him at 77th in Race To Dubai points which is good enough to retain his tour card for the 2013 season, but not good enough to make the field in Dubai.

This was the last opportunity, in conjunction with the South African Open for players on the European Tour to take care of business for next year. Positions 61-115 in Race to Dubai points will retain their 2013 tour cards. Positions 11-60 get invitations to the DP World Championships, Dubai next week, and the top 10 share a pool of  3,750,000 Euro bonus pool at the end of the season.

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