Jarmo Sandelin of Sweden captured his third European Tour title when he shot a closing 69 to win the Peugeot Open de Espana with a 21 under par total of 267 at El Prat near Barcelona.
The 32-year-old, who claimed his first victory on Spanish territory when he won the Open de Canaries in 1995, finished four strokes clear of runners-up Paul McGinley of Ireland and the Spanish pair of Ignacio Garrido and Miguel Angel Jimenez.
It was a composed performance all week by the extrovert Swede, who preferred on this occasion to let his clubs do all the talking for him.
With girlfriend, Linda, caddying as usual, Sandelin had shared the halfway lead with Scotland’s Paul Lawrie after a pair of 66s. He then added a third 66 to move into a three shot lead going into the final day.
Sandelin never really looked like being caught by his pursuers, who could never get in a serious blow as the Swede birdied three of the first nine holes and dropped just one over the outward stretch.
He admitted: “Everything went to plan. It was nice to have three 66s behind me going into the last round but standing on the first tee I still wasn’t sure I was going to make it.”
He needn’t have had any reason to doubt himself. The tall Swede birdied the long 12th and 15th thanks to a red-hot putter and even took the luxury of three putts at the 72nd hole without the smile leaving his face.
Jimenez, the recent winner of the last event in Spain, the Turespana Masters – Open Andalucia, closed with an eight under par 64 to tie for second and enhance his Ryder Cup cause.
McGinley, after a shaky front nine, bounced back in 34 for a round of 70 to match Jimenez’s total of 271. On the same score was Garrido, who fired a 68 while yet another Spaniard, Juan Carlos Aguera, underlined his potential by sharing fifth spot with the unlucky Jamie Spance.
The Englishman’s ball vanished mysteriously at the 12th and Spence had not alternative but to declare it lost and ran up a seven. Despite that upset, he came home in 38 for a round of 69 and a total of 272.