Sergio Garcia moved up to 25th in the Race to Dubai Rankings after victory at the Andalucia Valderrama Masters hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation.
The Spaniard becomes the first man since Colin Montgomerie to win the same tournament three times on the bounce in Europe, after Montgomerie won the BMW PGA Championship from 1998 to 2000.
The 2017 Masters Tournament champion had to wait an extra day to seal the title, after weather disruptions over the weekend forced tournament organisers to reduce the tournament to 54 holes and declare a Monday finish. The Spaniard signed for a solid 68 in round one, which left him two behind Englishman Ashley Chesters, before a magical second round 64 gave him the outright lead at Valderrama Golf Club. His third under par round of week followed, as he shot 69 for a tournament total of 12 under par and his 15th win on the European Tour.
“Sergio has proved once again why he is one of the elite players on Tour after winning the Andalucia Valderrama Masters hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation for the third consecutive time,” said Nick Tarratt, Director, European Tour International Dubai Office. “It’s been a great couple of months for him after receiving a Ryder Cup wildcard pick before going on to become the all-time leading points scorer with a sensational performance at Le Golf National. We can’t wait to welcome him back to Jumeirah Golf Estates for the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai where I’m sure he will get a hero’s welcome from all of the European fans in the United Arab Emirates.”
With the triumph, Garcia surges from 41st to 25th in the Race to Dubai Rankings with a season tally of 1,186,138 points.
"It's amazing to be able to win here at Valderrama three times - it's a dream come true,” said Garcia.
"It's so difficult. This golf course is so challenging and for me to be able to go out there in the conditions we played in all week and shoot three rounds under par means a lot. I'm very proud of that and really excited about the week.
"I knew the guys were going to be going after me and this golf course is the kind of course where if you're a little bit off you can struggle.But if your game is on it gives you a lot of birdie opportunities.”
Irishman Shane Lowry carded a brilliant final round 66 to finish in second place, four shots back from Garcia. With the result, the 31 year old confirms his place at the tenth edition of the DP World Tour Championship, where he will be hoping to go one better than his second place finish last year. He rises from 63rd to 43rd with 814,835 points for the season.
Meanwhile, Chesters finished seven off the lead in fourth place, which earns him 116,250 valuable Race to Dubai points and moves him from 88th 67th in the Rankings, only seven spots off of a maiden DP World Tour Championship appearance.
The tournament was also the last chance for players to retain their European Tour cards for next season by finishing in the top 116 of the Race to Dubai. Seven-time European Tour winner Gonzalo Fernández-Castaño sealed his playing privileges after a tied for fifth place finish saw him jump from 125th to 104th in the Rankings. Richie Ramsey kept his playing card by a slim margin after moving from 126th to 115th with a tied for 11th place finish.
With only four tournaments to go on the Race to Dubai calendar, Italy’s Francesco Molinari leads the way with 4,635,909 points, whilst England’s Tommy Fleetwood follows in second place on 3,291,967 points. USA’s Patrick Reed completes the top three with 3,057,948 points.
The DP World Tour Championship takes place at Jumeirah Golf Estates from Thursday 15 to Sunday 18 November.