Björn wraps up convincing win

2/6/2011 1:01:09 PM
Thomas Bjorn  (Getty Images)
Thomas Bjorn (Getty Images)

Thomas Björn held his nerve to land an 11th European Tour title at the Commercialbank Qatar Masters presented by Dolphin Energy.

The Dane saw his overnight one shot lead wiped out by Markus Brier at the first hole, and then when the Austrian fell away 2009 winner Alvaro Quiros charged to within one on the back nine.

But the former Ryder Cup star, an assistant to Colin Montgomerie at The Celtic Manor Resort last year, stayed calm to record a closing round of 69 to win by four shots on 14 under.

Björn parred his first 14 holes, before a wonderful six iron approach to the 15th led to his first birdie of the day, and he made further gains at the 16th and 18th.

"I said yesterday it was going to be one of those days where it's a question of hanging in, and that's all I did earlier on," said Björn, who turns 40 later this month.

"I didn't play particularly well for at least the first six holes. I was really struggling and didn't hit any fairways, and just kept holing a few putts for pars.

"I knew it was going to be a tough day, but from there on I started playing a lot better and got more control over the ball and just kept making pars. I stood on the tenth tee with a four shot lead and I knew it was going to be difficult, if I parred every hole on the back nine, it's going to be difficult for them to catch me."

Quiros came closest to catching the Estoril Open de Portugal winner - the big-hitting Spaniard turning one under before defying windy conditions to reach the par five tenth in two for birdie.

He picked up further shots at the 11th and 14th, but a missed five foot par putt on the 15th shortly before Björn's birdie on the same hole provided a crucial two shot swing.

And when Quiros misjudged his tee shot at the penultimate hole and bogeyed, the contest was effectively over.

The 28 year old gained a shot at the last to finish second on ten under, with Brier joined by Spain's Rafael Cabrera Bello in third.

"Alvaro put in a stint there where he threw a few birdies in and it became a little bit tense," admitted Björn.

"But after I hit that shot on 15 and saw him miss that putt for par, well, it's going to be difficult for him to catch me out if I don't make any mistakes.

"In the end it became a bit of a cruise, but delighted with the week. I played solid golf - I think I made one bogey in the last 54 holes. On this golf course and in these conditions, that's good going."

Quiros was left to rue his late blips, but was generally happy to have finished runner-up for the second year running.

"Yesterday I was thinking I was going to finish top five and I'm going to finish second by myself," he said.

"Unfortunately I made three putts on 15, and I made a stupid bogey on 17. So after that, it's going to be tough to reach him. But anyway, I'm very pleased to be where I am."