CASTELLON, Spain(AP) Sergio Garcia picked up his first European win in over three years on his home course Sunday and immediately dedicated the three-shot victory in the Castello Masters to the hospitalized Seve Ballesteros.
Garcia closed with a 4-under 67 for a four-day total of 20-under 264 at the Club de Campo del Mediterraneo golf course where he has played since childhood and his father is the club professional. Sweden’s Peter Hedblom (66) pulled even early but settled for second after a late bogey.
Garcia immediately turned the attention to Ballesteros, who remains in a Madrid hospital following brain surgery Friday to remove a malignant tumor. Ballesteros remains in stable but serious condition in the intensive care unit of the La Paz hospital.
“I couldn’t help but think about Seve,” Garcia said. “I’m sending all my love to him and his family and hope he recovers soon. I hope this victory helps him to get a little better.”
Alexander Noren of Sweden took third after a closing 65 left him at 15-under and five behind Garcia, whose last European win was the 2005 European Masters.
“It just feels very special and means so much,” the 28-year-old Garcia said. “Just getting the tournament here was special for me and my family but to play the way I did and win it is awesome.
“I didn’t play amazing and when Peter had such a great start I thought these guys were not making it easy for me.”
Garcia started well with a birdie at the first, but Hedblom matched that and ran off three more birdies over the next three holes to pull within one. The Swede eventually pulled even at 16-under when Garcia failed to save an up-and-down at the par-3 No. 6.
Garcia rolled in from eight feet for a birdie at the next hole and birdied again at No. 8 to make the turn with a 2-stroke lead.
The players matched birdies at the 13th and 16th, but Hedblom bogeyed the par-4 No. 17 to fall three back.
“On the back nine I felt I had it under control and had a lot of chances and putts but didn’t make that many,” Garcia said.