Jimenez win wounds Woosnam

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The Independent Online

As Miguel Angel Jimenez was at last extracting his first title of the year from his undoubted talent here yesterday, Ian Woosnam was stunning his home country by admitting that he was seriously considering retiring from the game.

As Miguel Angel Jimenez was at last extracting his first title of the year from his undoubted talent here yesterday, Ian Woosnam was stunning his home country by admitting that he was seriously considering retiring from the game.

Joint fifth at the age of 47 is no mean effort, but to this proud golfer, who was desperate to become the first Welsh winner of the Wales Open, it is not nearly good enough. Woosnam went into the final round just one off the lead but again was tormented by the putting demons and could only manage a one-under 68 to finish six shots off the runaway Spanish leader.

"I am going to chuck the clubs away for a few weeks. Might chuck them away all together," said Woosnam, who is without a strokeplay title since 1997.

"I am close to it, I promise you. If my putting doesn't improve they are going in the bag forever.

"I'm so cheesed off. I missed a four footer for birdie on the fourth and missed from 14 inches on the sixth. By then I was just hoping the round was over and I could get out of here."

In stark contrast, the player they call "The Mechanic" never wanted the day to end as Jimenez recovered from an opening bogey to motor through the last 14 holes in eight-under to equal the course record of 62 and claim the £250,000 first prize and his sixth title in 16 months.

The clinching moment came when the Ryder Cup hero smashed a three-wood 253 yards on to the green at the 16th and holed the eagle putt from 40 feet.

"The key today was my putting," said Jimenez, not helping Woosnam's mood any. "I hope I hit the ball like that next week at the US Open."

Martin Erlandsson earned £130,000 for a share of second place with Spain's Jose Manuel Lara - four back from Jimenez - to ensure he will not have to return to the dreaded qualifying school. "I am still shaking," the Swede said after his 63. "I just went for it today. And, boy, did it come off."

l Tiger Woods hit a one-under-par 71 in the Memorial tournament at Muirfield Village. Woods is on eight-under and tied for 10th at the end of the third round, four strokes behind the leaders - David Toms, Jeff Sluman, Fred Couples and Bart Bryant.

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