Tuesday 26 September 2017

Miguel Angel Jimenez defends Hong Kong title

Defending champion Miguel Angel Jimenez (R) of Spain celebrates with his caddie on the 18th green after winning the European Tour Hong Kong Open golf tournament after a playoff
Defending champion Miguel Angel Jimenez (R) of Spain celebrates with his caddie on the 18th green after winning the European Tour Hong Kong Open golf tournament after a playoff

Phil Casey

Miguel Angel Jimenez claimed a record-equalling fourth Hong Kong Open on Sunday, successfully defending the title and extending his record as the European Tour's oldest winner.

Jimenez, who turns 50 on January 5, birdied the first hole of a sudden death play-off with Prom Meesawat and Stuart Manley, the trio having finished tied on 12 under par after a dramatic final round.

Meesawat set the clubhouse target thanks to a closing 65 which contained two eagles, while Jimenez birdied the 17th and saved par from a greenside bunker on the last to join him on 12 under.

Manley's chance looked to have disappeared when he missed a good birdie opportunity on the 17th, but the Welshman chipped in from just off the 18th green to make it a three-way play-off.

The players returned to the 18th and Jimenez gained a massive advantage by being the only player to hit driver off the tee, Meesawat coming up just short of the green with his approach while Manley's second shot from almost 200 yards was pushed off target and clattered into a hospitality tent.

From there he could only chip onto the green and leave himself a long par putt from just inside Jimenez, but after Meesawat chipped up to three feet, the veteran Spaniard rendered any par putts immaterial by holing from 25 feet for a winning birdie.

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