Jimenez Fires 62 to Claim Wales Open


CITY OF NEWPORT, Wales -- Miguel Angel Jimenez shot a 7-under 62 on Sunday to win The Celtic Manor Wales Open by four strokes. Jimenez finished the event at 14-under-par 262 for his 13th career victory on the European Tour.
Martin Erlandsson posted a 63 for his best career finish on the European Tour. Erlandsson shared second place with Jose Manuel Lara at 10-under-par 266. Jean-Francois Lucquin followed at 9-under-par 267.
Miguel Angel Jimenez
Miguel Angel Jimenez acknowledges the crowd after his final-round 62 earned him his first title in 2005.
Jimenez trailed unheralded third-round leader Alessandro Tadini by a single stroke heading into the final round on the Roman Road Course at Celtic Manor Resort. Jimenez found trouble early with a bogey at the second, but the veteran battled his way back.
He hit his second shot inside 12 feet for a birdie at the par-4 fifth and converted another putt for a birdie at the par-4 seventh to get to 8 under. Jimenez then played his approach within 7 feet of the hole at the par-4 ninth and rolled in the putt to make the turn at minus-9.
Jimenez parred his next three holes before running home a 16-foot birdie try at the par-3 13th. At the par-4 14th, Jimenez found the rough off the tee, but dropped his second shot within 6 feet for another birdie to take the outright lead at 11 under.
The Spaniard went for the green at the par-5 16th and hit a 3-wood to the center of the putting surface. He drained the long eagle putt to increase his advantage to three strokes and after that it was all but over.
'Yesterday I struggled with the pace and today was a little better on the pace,' said Jimenez, who equaled the course record on Sunday. 'I just tried to make a solid putt there.'
Jimenez parred the 17th and closed out the tournament in style at the last after his second shot stopped 7 feet from the cup. He rolled in the birdie try to secure his second victory of the season.
Erlandsson, who had never finished in the top 10 prior to this event, tallied three birdies and a bogey over his first nine holes. The Swede persisted on the back side and got to 7 under with a birdie at the 12th.
He added back-to-back birdies starting at the 14th and was on in two at the par-5 16th. Erlandsson two-putted for a birdie and parred his way in to finish four shots behind Jimenez.
'I just went for it today,' said Erlandsson. 'I am in the situation in the rankings where I have nothing to lose so I just said to myself, lets go for it and see what happens. It is fantastic.'
Lara sank a 9-foot birdie try at the second, but gave that shot back with a bogey at the fifth. He countered with a birdie at the sixth, but again found trouble with a bogey at the eighth to play the outward nine at even par.
The 28-year-old made a move on the back nine with a birdie at the 12th and back-to-back birdies from the 16th. Lara had a birdie chance at the last to take second place alone, but his putt came up just short of the hole.
Tadini took the lead with a brilliant 62 on Friday and managed to hold onto the top spot heading into the final round despite a 75 on Saturday. The Italian collected a pair of birdies on the front nine to make the turn at minus-10.
Tadini struggled down the stretch, however, with two bogeys over his last four holes for a round of 69. He was joined by Joakim Haeggman and Ian Woosnam, whose drought continues, at 8-under-par 268.
David Lynn, who will defend his title next week at the KLM Open, tied for eighth place with Jose-Filipe Lima, Oliver Wilson and Wade Ormsby at 6-under-par 270.
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