Jimenez Wins Fifth of Year First for 2005

By Sports NetworkDecember 5, 2004, 5:00 pm
European TourNEW TERRITORIES, Hong Kong -- Miguel Angel Jimenez posted a 4-under 66 on Sunday to win the Omega Hong Kong Open. Jimenez finished at 14-under-par 266, one shot ahead of James Kingston and last year's champion Padraig Harrington.
Thomas Bjorn and Thammanoon Srirot carded matching rounds of 69 to share fourth place at 10-under-par 270. Nick Faldo and David Howell tied for sixth place at 8-under-par 272.
Jimenez recorded four victories during the 2004 campaign and he has continued his winning ways with a new season underway.
'This is my best year,' said Jimenez. 'I try to be myself and play well and let things happen.'
The Spaniard was part of a three-way tie atop the leaderboard heading into the final round at Hong Kong Golf Club and tallied a birdie at the par-3 second to remain knotted with Harrington and Kingston.
Harrington grabbed the top spot briefly with a birdie at the fourth but fell to 11 under with a bogey at the sixth. Kingston moved into the outright lead with a birdie at No. 6, but Jimenez soon joined him with a birdie of his own at the very next hole.
Harrington fell further off the pace with a bogey at the seventh and a two-man race seemed to be forming between Jimenez and Kingston. Kingston made a move with a birdie at the 10th and jumped to 14 under with a birdie at the 12th.
Jimenez battled to keep pace with a birdie at the 12th. Kingston then faltered to a bogey at the 14th to again forge a tie.
Both players birdied the 17th, but Kingston was unlucky at the last after his drive came to rest against a fence en route to a bogey and a round of 67.
'I just needed to hit a positive shot on 18,' said Kingston, who was seeking his maiden title on the European Tour. 'Obviously I made a bad swing there and that was it. It was disappointing.'
Jimenez walked away with a solid par on the closing hole for his 12th career victory on the European Tour.
'It shows me that I'm still in form, I'm still playing well and making progress properly,' said Jimenez. 'I feel very happy how the year has gone for me.'
Harrington made a late run with four birdies and a bogey on the back side, but managed only a par at the 18th to join Kingston in a tie for second.
'I putted badly all day,' said Harrington, who shot a 67. 'I missed six very makeable putts in the round and that's what cost me.'
Jose Maria Olazabal, who won this event in 2001, carded a 67 to join Lian-Wei Zhang, Charl Schwartzel and Alessandro Tadini at 7-under-par 273.
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