Assured Jimenez lifts European Masters - Golf - Sport - The Independent

Assured Jimenez lifts European Masters

Five of Colin Montgomerie's Ryder Cup side have now won since the start of August after Miguel Angel Jimenez survived a late scare to take the Omega European Masters in Switzerland yesterday.

The Spaniard, 46, six clear with seven to play, had that reduced to one by Celtic Manor team-mate Edoardo Molinari and then hit a tree with his tee shot to the short 16th. But the Italian was the one to bogey there, while Jimenez got up and down from a fairway bunker for a birdie on the next and, with a closing par, triumphed by three.

It follows the wins by Ross Fisher at the Irish Open, Martin Kaymer in the USPGA Championship, Peter Hanson at the Czech Open and Molinari in last week's Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles.

Jimenez, making his 22nd successive trip to Crans-sur-Sierre, finally got his hands on the trophy with a four-under-par 67 and 21-under total of 263. He becomes the eighth oldest winner in European Tour history and the first to record three victories this season.

Incredibly, 11 of his 18 titles have come since he turned 40 and he has earned £8m in that time compared to £5m in his previous 22 years as a professional. "I made a good recovery at the 16th – that was probably the key to the day," said Jimenez.

"I love to come here. It's not only my two times second, it's the amount of times I have finished top 10 and been in contention, so it means a lot."

He was not the only one celebrating, however. Molinari's 17-year-old compatriot Matteo Manassero came third on 16 under following a 68 and, with a cheque for more than £102,000, he secured a Tour card for next season in six starts as a professional.

"It was my goal and what I always wanted to do, and now I am here," said last year's British amateur champion.

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