Golf: Jonzon breaks duck as Olazabal fades

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The Independent Online
Jose Maria Olazabal could not complete the remarkable victory that had looked possible at the beginning of the day, and he had to settle for a share of fourth place yesterday as Michael Jonzon lived up to his prediction and won the Portuguese Open.

The Swede secured his maiden European Tour victory with a closing 69 at Aroeira,which gave him a three-stroke victory over Spain's Ignacio Garrido.

After his 18-month lay-off with arthritic feet, Olazabal could not keep his fine form going on the back nine yesterday, carding four bogeys and not a single birdie in his last 11 holes left him with a 74 and strokes adrift of Jonzon.

During the round he took several opportunities to sit on his golf bag, but he refused to make fatigue the reason for his dropping back. "I am still feeling my feet, but I don't think tiredness was a factor," he said. "I'm not going to find an excuse I didn't strike the ball well. Nothing was good."

Jonzon, a 24-year-old in his third season on tour, finished with a 19- under-par total of 269, bringing him pounds 58,330 - almost as much as he won in the whole of last season. He said: "I was aware that most people were wanting him to win, but I had a pretty good focus on my own game and I felt very relaxed."

Paul Broadhurst's disappointing 73 put him third and Olazabal was tied with the defending champion, Wayne Riley, Darren Clarke, who is now fourth in the Ryder Cup qualifying table, and Riley's fellow Australian, Stephen Allan.

Jonzon's outward 32 stretched his overnight lead from two shots to five, but at the long 10th, his carved drive into the trees could not be found by the spectators and he had to make the long walk back to the tee. There was the prospect of a three-stroke swing, but the Swede sank a15-foot putt for a bogey six and Olazabal, still his nearest challenger at that point, missed his eight-foot birdie attempt.

When the 1994 US Masters champion flew the green at the next and bogeyed to fall five behind again, his chance was gone but Jonzon another Spaniard pursuing him. Garrido, whose uncle German won this title in 1972, had gone to the turn in 33 and with four birdies in the next six holes two of them courtesy of huge putts he was only three back.

Jonzon then had a bogey on the 13th and if Garrido had made a six-foot birdie putt on the last seconds later, the gap would have been only one. But the son of Antonio Garrido, a former Ryder Cup player, missed it and his 65 left him second for the third time in his European Tour career.

Jonzon tied things up with a seven-foot putt on the short 16th. He could enjoy the moment then rather than feel the strain of it.

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