Jimenez secures hat-trick with win at UBS Hong Kong Open

Miguel Angel Jimenez.jpg.crop_display.jpg

Spain’s Miguel Angel Jimenez achieved his treble of victories at the UBS Hong Kong Open when he signed off with a flawless five-under-par 65 to lift the title for the third time on Sunday.

Sweden’s Fredrik Andersson Hed charged back into contention with a masterclass of his own but was denied his second career win by the slimmest of margins after he closed with a 64 to finish one back of the Spanish veteran who compiled a four-day total of 15-under-par 265.

Australia’s Marcus Fraser moved atop the Asian Tour Order of Merit after enjoying a third place finish with his closing 64 while Italy’s Matteo Manassero did not surmount the expected challenge and ended his campaign in tied-fourth alongside Ireland’s Peter Lawrie and Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher on 269 at the Hong Kong Golf Club.

Like the cigar and vintage wine he enjoys, Jimenez continues to ooze class with age as his UBS Hong Kong Open win represents his 12th career victory since turning 40.

“I’ve my own style, I like to have my wine. I like to have my cigar, and this week, every afternoon when we finish, I’ve a glass of wine before I go home and it helps,” said Jimenez.

“This is not the end of my career. I'm still playing well and still winning tournaments. The most important thing, I say I do what I like to do in my life, and golf has given me all these pleasures,” added the Spaniard.

Having won the Hong Kong Open in 2004 and 2007, the charismatic 48-year-old secured his hat-trick with a performance that had the galleries cheering him every step of his way.

“I’ve been coming here every year since 2004, never missing a year. I’ve made many friends along the way and that’s why I enjoy coming back to Hong Kong,” said Jimenez.

Andersson Hed made his early charge with three birdies in his opening four holes. After turning in 31, he posted three successive birdies again starting from the 11th to put the pressure on Jimenez.

The 40-year-old Swede could have forced a play-off with a birdie at the last but could only watch in agony as his putt lipped out of the hole.

“I think it was probably the best I've ever played under pressure when you're in this situation and you can win a tournament. But unfortunately I couldn't get it all the way there, but close,” said Andersson Hed.

“It was a pity I couldn't get one of the putts on the last two holes to put a little bit more pressure on Miguel on the last hole. He did fantastic, though so all credit to Miguel,” added the Swede.

Having climbed to the top of the merit rankings with his finish, Fraser described his week in Hong Kong as one of his best after having to endure an indifferent form of late.

“I felt like I played pretty ordinary the last three weeks. And then my coach came up this week and turned my game around straightaway. It’s nice to be able to do that on the course, as well, and have a really good week. I couldn't be happier,” said Fraser.

Leading Scores after round 4 of the UBS Hong Kong Open Championship 2012 being played at the par 70, 6699 Yards Hong Kong Golf Club course (a- denotes amateur):

265 - Miguel Angel JIMENEZ (ESP) 65-67-68-65.

266 - Fredrik ANDERSSON HED (SWE) 66-66-70-64.

268 - Marcus FRASER (AUS) 67-69-68-64.

269 - Stephen GALLACHER (SCO) 68-68-68-65, Peter LAWRIE (IRL) 68-68-67-66, Matteo MANASSERO (ITA) 67-70-64-68.

271 - Matt KUCHAR (USA) 69-69-66-67.

272 - Pablo LARRAZABAL (ESP) 69-70-65-68, Michael CAMPBELL (NZL) 67-64-69-72.

273 - Chris WOOD (ENG) 72-70-68-63, Mark FOSTER (ENG) 69-68-68-68, Paul LAWRIE (SCO) 69-69-67-68, Thongchai JAIDEE (THA) 72-66-67-68, Anders HANSEN (DEN) 69-64-70-70.

274 - Ricardo SANTOS (POR) 71-65-73-65, David HORSEY (ENG) 67-70-71-66, Jose Maria OLAZABAL (ESP) 66-71-69-68, ZHANG Lian-wei (CHN) 66-66-69-73.

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