/ Golf

Miguel Angel Jimenez reigns in Spain after play-off decider

Updated: Sunday, 18 May 2014 19:14 | Comments

Miguel Angel Jimenez's par on the first play-off hole was enough to secure the title
Miguel Angel Jimenez's par on the first play-off hole was enough to secure the title

Miguel Angel Jimenez extended his own record as the oldest winner in European Tour history today with victory in a three-man play-off at the Spanish Open.

Jimenez, Richard Green and Thomas Pieters had finished tied on four under par after an attritional final round at PGA Catalunya which saw Jimenez let slip a two-shot lead and Green then triple bogey the 14th when one shot clear.

The players returned to the 18th for the first hole of sudden death and all three failed to find the fairway or green in regulation, but Jimenez almost holed his chip from the back of the green for a birdie and a par proved good enough.

Green failed to get up and down from over the green and Pieters, whose approach had come up short, saw his par putt catch the lip of the hole and stay out.

Gareth Maybin was best of the Irish, finishing on one under in a tie for seventh place.

Shane Lowry and Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley shared 15th place, finishing in a group of nine on one over par. David Higgins (+4), Kevin Phelan (+8) and Simon Thornton (+10) were the other Irish to make the cut in Spain.

Jimenez has now won 21 times on the European Tour, 14 of the victories coming since he turned 40, and claiming his national open for the first time continues a remarkable season.

The 50-year-old was in contention to become the oldest major champion in history before finishing fourth in the Masters last month, and seven days later won on his Champions Tour debut.

Pieters had held a two-shot overnight lead but suffered nightmare start to the round, carding a hat-trick of bogeys from the second as Jimenez picked up three early birdies to move two shots clear.

However, Jiminez dropped shots on the ninth and 10th and had to chip in on the 11th to avoid an unwanted hat-trick, leaving Green in the lead on six under after a front nine of 34.

The Australian left-hander, who has won two of his three European Tour titles in play-offs, then ran up a seven on the 14th after hitting his second shot into the trees and, after a penalty drop, compounding his error by three-putting from 30 feet.

Pieters then drew level with Jimenez on five under thanks to an eagle from four feet on the 15th, but as Green was parring the last to post the clubhouse target, the final pair both bogeyed the 17th.

User contributions and/or comments do not, unless specifically stated, represent the views of RTÉ.ie or RTÉ.
Click here for Terms of use
Powered by NewsWhip