Sweden’s Fredrik Jacobson claimed his first success on The European Tour International Schedule when he won the Omega Hong Kong Open at Hong Kong Golf Club with a superb final round of 64. The 28 year old was rewarded for his patience and perseverance by securing that elusive maiden title after finishing second on six previous occasions.
Jacobson had been edged out twice in play-offs, first to Lee Westwood in the Belgacom Open in 1998 then again earlier this year when he lost to Eduardo Romero at the first extra hole in The Barclays Scottish Open.
However he ended that frustrating sequence thanks to a five under par closing round for a 16 under par total of 260 and a two stroke winning margin over Argentina’s Jorge Berendt and Henrik Nystrom of Sweden.
"It's a big relief to finally win a tournament” said Jacobson. “Next year I'll be going into my eighth season so it's nice to have a win after so many near misses. It's good to have the first one done.”
Jacobson finished second at Loch Lomond this year but was determined to finally take top spot. He added: "I didn't watch any leader boards. I tried to stay away from looking. I felt better than I have ever done before on the
final day. I was really happy I stuck with my game plan.
“My ambition was to win two tournaments in Europe this year but the season ran out at the Volvo Masters Andlaucia so I came to Asia hoping to win here and last week in Taiwan. I got half of what I wished for! "
Berendt tied for second after a 67 gave him a 14 under par total of 262 to finish alongside Nystrom, who birdied the last three holes to share that spot.
Berendt commented: "I did not get close enough to make a challenge. I didn't have many good chances for birdies, most of them were two putt range. I still feel fantastic. It's a good finish to the year and a good start to the new season.”
It was a satisfying success for Jacobson, who started the day one behind the leading trio of Berendt, Stephen Dodd of Wales and Nystrom, and made a determined push for the title by gathering four birdies in a blistereing outward half of 30.
He dropped a shot at the 11th but bounced back with birdies at the long 12th and the 14th and, with victory tantalisingly in sight, carded four successive pars to fiinish, sinking a ten footer on the final green to confirm his two stroke winning margin and convert promise into tangible success.
Welshman Dodd had been jockeying for the lead with Jacobson but, critically, missed an 18 inch putt on the 15th to damage his prospects of a debut victory. Dodd signed for a 68 to finish in joint third place with Gary Orr of Scotland and Denmark’s Sören Kjeldsen.
Six time Major Champion Nick Faldo, who had gone into the final day just four behind the lead as he chased his first title for five years, made a valiant late bid for the top with birdies at the 15th and 16th. But the 45 year old had left his charge too late and a double bogey at the last sealed his fate.