New World Number Two Sergio Garcia made the perfect start to The Race to Dubai when he edged out Ryder Cup team-mate Oliver Wilson in a play-off to win a thrilling HSBC Champions in Shanghai.
The HSBC Champions marked the historic start of The Race to Dubai which will climax with the Dubai World Championship on the Earth course at Jumeirah Golf Estates next November. And it was somehow fitting that the first winner of this new era for The European Tour should be Garcia, a player who has co-designed the Wind course at Jumeirah Golf Estates and has dedicated so much time championing The Race to Dubai in recent months.
Spaniard Garcia carded a final round four under par 68 to join overnight leader Wilson at the top of the leaderboard after the Englishman shot a fourth round of 70 on the fifth day at Sheshan International Golf Club after the tournament was forced into an extra day following the inclement weather earlier in the week.
In the play-off, Garcia birdied the second extra hole to claim his second win in three weeks after triumphing at the CASTELLÓMASTERS Costa Azahar on his home course of Club de Campo del Mediterráneo at the end of October.
With the win, Garcia also reached the highest position of his career in the Official World Golf Rankings while the €647,016 first prize sends the 28 year old top of The Race to Dubai.
Ryder Cup rookie Wilson’s quest for a maiden title however once again proved elusive as he earned his fifth runner-up finish of 2008.
"It feels great," said Garcia after claiming his eighth European Tour victory.
"I am so proud, to win and become World Number Two, it's been a great week. It is a great start to The Race to Dubai."
SAS Masters winner Peter Hanson shot a six under par 66 to share third place alongside 2006 US Open champion Geoff Ogilvy, who birdied the final hole for a second consecutive 70, at 13 under par.
Sweden's Henrik Stenson (71) finished fifth at 11 under, with South Africa's Charl Schwartzel (70) and Australian Adam Scott (70) a further shot off the pace.