Sandelin Captures Inaugural Asian Open
Sandelin, who started one behind third-round leaders Carl Pettersson and Miguel Angel Jimenez, slipped two shots off the pace with an opening bogey. He quickly rebounded with four birdies over the next five holes to take over the top spot at 9-under-par, and he was soon joined there when Jimenez notched his second birdie of the day at the sixth.
A birdie just before the turn lifted Sandelin into double figures, while Jimenez backed up with a bogey at the eighth and a double-bogey at the ninth. At the par-3 11th, Sandelin pulled three clear of the field after knocking his tee shot to six feet to set up his sixth birdie in 10 holes.
Sandelin made it interesting down the stretch, blowing his approach over the 16th green en route to a bogey that dropped him to minus-10.
But Olazabal was already in the clubhouse at 9-under with a bogey-free 67, and Pettersson recorded back-to-back bogeys at Nos. 15 and 16 to fall three shots back of Sandelin.
The victory was Sandelin's fifth on European Tour and his first since he captured the German Open title in a playoff two seasons ago. That marked his second win of 1999 and earned him a spot on the European Ryder Cup squad for the matches at Brookline.
'It's been two years of a lot of struggling,' Sandelin said. 'From now on I am going to take it one week at a time. Last season (2001) I finished 100th on the Volvo Order of Merit so this season I want to take the two zeroes off.'
He's off to a great start. The BMW Asian Open, which was co-sanctioned by the European Tour and the Davidoff (Asian PGA) Tour, was the first event to count toward the 2002 European Tour Order of Merit.
Jaidee had chances to reach 10-under but came up short with birdie attempts at the last two holes. He finished alongside Olazabal at 279, after a 67 that included five birdies, an eagle and two bogeys.
'Both putts were downhill so I didn't think I would leave them short,' said Jaidee of his missed opportunities. 'It was a little disappointing but it feels great to finish second.'
Sweden's Pettersson shot even-par 72 to tie for fourth place at 7-under 281 with Barry Lane of England, who carded a 3-under 69.
Spain's Jimenez, who like Sandelin was seeking his first win since 1999, turned in a 73 for a share of sixth place with New Zealand's Michael Campbell.
Campbell, whose 6-under 66 was the best round of the day, won the 2000 Johnnie Walker Classic over this same Ta Shee Resort layout.
Vijay Singh, the winner of back-to-back titles in Asia earlier this year at the Malaysian Open and Singapore Masters, shot a final-round 70 to finish with Brian Davis and Stephen Dodd at minus-five.
Full-Field Scores from the BMW Asian Open
What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm
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
Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red
Ball: TaylorMade TP5x
Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff
0 words— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
The issue is I don’t want to make you a bit relaxed or comfortable. High pressure, good.— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
Did you watch the end of the NFL games yesterday ? Enough said.— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
Did you win ? It’s all about surviving the competition to test yourself.— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.
Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over
Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.
And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.
The Ryder Cup topped his list.
Or similar assertions from TV analysts.
And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.
More bulletin board material, too.