Sunday, 05 September 2010
Miguel Angel Jimenez  (Getty Images)
Miguel Angel Jimenez (Getty Images)

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Five of Colin Montgomerie's Ryder Cup side have now won since the start of August after Miguel Angel Jiménez survived a late scare to take the Omega European Masters in Switzerland.

The 46 year old Spaniard, six clear with seven to play, saw his lead slashed to one by Celtic Manor Resort team-mate Edoardo Molinari and then hit a tree with his tee shot to the short 16th.

But the Italian was the one to bogey there, while Jiménez got up and down from a fairway bunker for a critical par and followed it up with a birdie on the next to maintain the three shot lead he held overnight.

The Spaniard's triumph follows wins by Ross Fisher at the 3 Irish Open, Martin Kaymer in the US PGA Championship, Peter Hanson at the Czech Open and Molinari in last week's Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles.

Jiménez, making his 22nd successive trip to Crans-sur-Sierre, finally got his hands on the trophy with a four under par 67 and 21 under total of 263.

He becomes the eighth oldest winner in European Tour history and the first to record three victories this season. In fact not since Paul Casey in 2006 has a European taken three European Tour titles in one year.

Incredibly, 11 of his 18 titles have come since he turned 40 and he has earned more money in that time than in his previous 22 years as a professional.

"I made a good recovery at the 16th - that was probably the key to the day," said Jiménez after being sprayed with champagne and then being encouraged to jump in the pond by the final green.

"I love to come here. It's not only my two times second, it's the amount of times I have finished top ten and been in contention, so it means a lot."

He was not the only one celebrating, however, in front of record crowds at Crans-sur-Sierre.

Molinari's 17 year old compatriot Matteo Manassero came third on 16 under following a 68 and with a cheque for €125,200 has secured a European Tour card for next season in six starts as a professional.

"Mission accomplished " he beamed. "I am a full member for the first time. It was my goal and what I wanted to do and now I am here," said last year's British Amateur Champion.

Molinari himself now heads off for a three-week break before The Ryder Cup, having finished first and second in his last two events, while Jiménez has come seventh, third and first in his last three.

Three ahead overnight, Jiménez doubled that by going to the turn in 32 with birdies at the first, sixth, seventh and ninth. He did not have a bogey on the front nine all week.

But Molinari birdied the 12th and with another at the long 14th was back to only three behind as Jiménez, bunkered off the tee, went over the green for three and took six.

With the pendulum swinging his way Molinari then hit a marvelous six iron to two feet on the 516 yard next and made eagle to Jiménez’s par.

Just a week earlier, of course, he stood two behind with three to play in Scotland and birdied them all, but this time he failed to get up and down from sand at the 16th and parred the last two.

This is the second time this season Jiménez has won an Omega-sponsored title after landing the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.

“I am always on time and never late,” he quipped.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1JIMÉNEZ, Miguel AngelESP18-21
2MOLINARI, EdoardoITA18-18
3MANASSERO, MatteoITA18-16
4NOH, Seung-yulKOR18-13
T5DERKSEN, Robert-JanNED18-12
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