HONG KONG (AP) – Miguel Angel Jimenez became the oldest European Tour winner on Sunday by shooting a 5-under 65 to capture his third Hong Kong Open title.
At 48 years and 318 days, the Spaniard surpassed the previous record set by Ireland's Des Smyth, who was 48 years and 34 days when he won the 2001 Madeira Islands Open.
“Winning now, and becoming the oldest winner on the tour at 48, my goodness. Twenty-four years I've been on the tour, I've been around a long time,'' Jimenez said. “But I still love it and that is fantastic, to love what you're doing, and enjoy yourself, keep fit, keep working myself a little bit and stretching a lot. And that's the main thing to do to keep the body to compete with the new guns.''
Jimenez earned his 19th tour victory by making four straight birdies from the seventh hole in his third straight bogey-free round to finish with a 15-under total of 265 on the suburban Fanling course. He was one shot ahead of Fredrik Andersson Hed of Sweden, who closed with a bogey-free 64.
As always, the Malaga-based Jimenez celebrated his success with a glass of Rioja and a cigar – and credited those habits with helping his longevity.
“There is maybe olive oil in my joints, and drinking the nice Rioja wine and those things keeps me fit and flexible,'' he said. “Well, the most important thing (is), I do what I like to do in my life, and golf has given me all of this pleasure.''
Jimenez earned $333,330 for the win, while Andersson Hed secured a place in next week's season-ending DP World Tour Championship with his second-place finish.
Australia's Marcus Fraser also shot a 64 to finish third on 12 under for his sixth top-10 placing of the season. Italy's Matteo Manassero (68) shared fourth place with Ireland's Peter Lawrie (66) and Scotland's Stephen Gallacher (65).
New Zealand's Michael Campbell, who was tied with Jimenez for the third-round lead and looking to end a seven-year winless drought, double bogeyed the last in a score of 72 to drop to eighth place.
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Welshman Rhys Davies (70) also had a disappointing day as his tie for 51st place means he will lose his tour card for next season after slipping outside of the top-119 who will retain automatic membership.
Davies arrived in Hong Kong lying 119th, but dropped to 120th – missing out on retaining his tour card by just $133 on the money list. The European Tour also confirmed that John Daly will be facing a fine after throwing a club on the second day of the event.
Daly hurled his putter into the trees at the 11th green ahead of missing the cut after being continually bothered by fans using mobile phones and cameras.
Tournament director Mickael Ericsson said the tour will take those disturbances into account, but that Daly will still be fined.
“Yes, the circumstances regarding crowd manners and behavior will be considered, but when it all boils down there is still no excuse for throwing his putter,'' Ericsson said.