Jimenez Rallies for Third Title of 2004

By Sports NetworkMay 16, 2004, 4:00 pm
04 BMW Asian OpenSHANGHAI, China -- Miguel Angel Jimenez fired a 5-under 67 on Sunday as he fought back from a six-stroke deficit to win the BMW Asian Open. Jimenez, who picked up his third win of the season, finished the event at 14-under-par 274.
 
Jimenez took the lead for good with an eagle on the par-5 13th. Jimenez, who won the Johnnie Walker Classic and Algarve Open de Portugal earlier in the season, climbs to second place on the 2004 Order of Merit and further improves his chances of gaining a spot on the 2004 European Ryder Cup squad.
 
'I played very well right from the start of the round and when the putts start to go in too, then you know you can make a score,' said Jimenez. 'I am really pleased because right now, every time I step onto the golf course I feel good and if I play like this I feel I can do anything. In fact, from about August last year, my form has been really pleasing.'
 
The tournament marked the European Tour's first official visit to mainland China and Jimenez felt right at home. His six-stroke comeback was the biggest since Ricardo Gonzalez erased a similar deficit at the 2003 Telefonica Open de Madrid last October.
 
Simon Dyson, who held the lead after each of the first three rounds, struggled to a 4-over 76 to finish second at 11-under-par 277. He was in search of his first win on the European Tour, but will have to settle for second which is still his best finish in five years on tour.
 
Prayad Marksaeng, who held the lead at one point in the final round, finished third at 10-under-par 278 after a round of 71. K.J. Choi closed with a 4-under 68 to end one stroke further back at minus-9.
 
Jimenez jumped out to a quick start as he birdied each of the first two holes to get to 11 under and within three shots of Dyson's lead. Jimenez however faltered to a bogey on the fourth at Tomson Shanghai Pudong Golf Club.
 
The Spaniard fought back with a birdie at the seventh to get back within three shots of the lead. He picked up his fourth birdie of the day at the par-4 10th after a stellar shot from a fairway bunker. He now stood at 12-under and shared second place with a sliding Dyson.
 
Jimenez then picked up his only eagle of the tournament at the par-5 13th, when he chipped in, to vault into the lead at 14 under. He stood two strokes clear of Dyson and Marksaeng, who bogeyed the 13th and 14th to slide to 12 under.
 
Now in the lead, Jimenez played steady golf with three straight pars from the 14th. He stumbled to a three-putt bogey at the par-3 17th and held a two-shot lead heading to the 72nd hole.
 
Jimenez closed the tournament in fine fashion. He sank a 5-foot birdie putt on the final hole to earn his 10th European Tour title.
 
Dyson seemed to be in trouble from the start. He dropped a shot with a bogey at the first and lost another stroke when he bogeyed the fifth. He fought back to birdie the sixth and extend his lead back to three strokes.
 
That lead would quickly slide away. The 26-year-old faltered to back-to-back bogeys from the ninth to drop to minus-12, one stroke behind Marksaeng. Dyson settled down to par four straight holes.
 
Dyson, however, dropped another stroke to par when he bogeyed the par-4 15th. He could only par the final three holes to finish second to Jimenez.
 
Marksaeng looked to be the one who would run away with the tournament. He started at 9 under alongside Jimenez. Marksaeng dropped in back-to-back birdies from the second to get within three shots of Dyson.
 
Marksaeng, who hails from Thailand, then ran off three birdies over a four-hole stretch from the eighth to grab a two-shot lead at minus-14. However, he struggled to four bogeys over a five-hole stretch from the 13th to drop off the pace.
 
Lian-Wei Zhang, the first China native to win a European Tour event, closed with a 1-under 71. He shared fifth place at 8-under-par 280 with Adam Groom and Paul McGinley. Jean-Francois Lucquin (73) and Unho Park (67) were one stroke further back at minus-7.
 
A pair of men from India - Jyoti Randhawa (70) and Jeev Milkha Singh (70) - shared 10th place at 6-under-par 282. They were joined there by Australian Marcus Both (70) and American Gregory Hanrahan (69).
 
Padraig Harrington, who won this event in 2003, never mounted a charge this week. He closed with a 2-over 74 to share 60th place at 3-over-par 291.
 
Related Links:
  • TGC Airtimes
  • Leaderboard - BMW Asian Open
  • Full Coverage - BMW Asian Open
  • Getty Images

    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

    Getty Images

    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

    Getty Images

    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”



    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

    Getty Images

    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

    The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.