While Steve Stricker won the PGA Tour event at Riviera, here’s your competition wrapup from the rest of the world…
On the European Tour, Spain’s Miguel Angel Jimenez won the Omega Dubai Desert Classic in a three-hole playoff with England’s Lee Westwood. While Westwood made a game birdie on the 72nd hole, carrying a 3-wood shot over a lake to the front edge of the green and two-putting from 50 feet, his short game let him down in the playoff. Playing that same 18th hole, he hit 3-wood second shots around the green but failed to get either chip inside 10 feet and settled for par. Jimenez got up and down twice to save par. On the third hole, Westwood chipped to six feet and missed his par putt while Jimenez holed his five-footer for par and the win.
Here’s what Jimenez told the Gulf News:
“I’ve been coming here many years now and I’ve had a few chances to win. But I feel very, very happy and excited. I like playing this way. I was comfortable and that is key. I know I’m not 25 or 30 years old, I’m 46, but I’m still strong. It is much more difficult for me compared to youngsters like Rory.”
Jimenez said he spent the last two weeks working on his fitness. “I did nothing during the winter, but then almost everyday of the last two weeks was in the gym. We did a little bit of weights, worked on cardio and abs because you need to have good balance.”
Jimenez is looking forward to the Majors and to making Europe’s 2010 Ryder Cup team. “My goals are the same every year. Every player likes to be at the Majors and I too would like to win a Major in my career and I will do all I can to win one. Everybody knows how tough it is, but would like to have the opportunity.”
Elsewhere, and it doesn’t get more elsewhere than Australia, Cincinnati’s Jim Herman won theNationwide Tour’s Moonah Classic in what the 32-year-old described as the biggest win of his 10-year career. Herman, who shot an opening 62, trailed Chris Kirk by two shots with three holes to play until Kirk finished bogey-bogey-par to fall back into a playoff, which Herman won.
It was a sweet finish for Herman, who hadn’t planned on coming to Australia as recently as a few weeks ago because he was third or fourth alternate to get in the two Nationwide co-sanctioned events in New Zealand and Australia. Three days before he was supposed to leave, he got word that he was in the field for the New Zealand Open so he decided to make the trip. From Sportal:
While many players in the past have used the Nationwide Tour as a stepping stone to the US PGA Tour – and he’s obviously hoping to do likewise by finishing in the top 25 on the money list this year – Herman’s experiences in 2009 have convinced him to take nothing for granted.
“I played well last year at the beginning, I had a fourth-place finish and a third-place finish and I didn’t make exempt status for the Nationwide Tour so I know how quickly it can turn,” Herman said. “This is just a good start, obviously you need to build off it but I’m not going to go out and start changing anything.”