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Sunday, October 31, 1999 Published at 19:44 GMT

Jerez joy for Jimenez

Miguel Angel Jimenez leaps for joy after clinching victory

Miguel Angel Jimenez continued Spain's superb run of golfing success with victory on home soil in the Volvo Masters in Jerez.

The 35-year-old surged out of the pack on the final day with a closing round of 65 to capture the £166,000 title.

Jimenez's victory, by two strokes from overnight leader Retief Goosen of South Africa, Ireland's Padraig Harrington and German Bernhard Langer, follows Jose Maria Olazabal's triumph in the US Masters and Sergio Garcia's emergence as a world star.

The three stars also combined to give Spain their first-ever success in the Dunhill Cup at St Andrews three weeks ago.

Late charge

Jimenez, four behind Goosen at the start of the day, birdied four of the last seven holes to finish on 19-under-par and consign both Goosen and Harrington to their fifth runners-up places of the season.

It also killed off Harrington's hopes of ending Colin Montgomerie's six-year reign as European number one, as he needed to win to stay in the race.

With Open champion Paul Lawrie failing to win as well - he was 10th - the only three players who can catch Montgomerie at next week's world championship are Garcia, Lee Westwood and Goosen.

Sergio surges on

Garcia continued his fabulous rookie season by sharing fifth spot with defending champion Darren Clarke and now moves ahead of Westwood - who could only finish 30th on eight-under - in second place.

Jimenez, who captured the Turespana Masters in his home town Malaga in March, said: "I feel a great satisfaction at being the first Spaniard to win the Volvo Masters. It makes me feel very proud.

"Also winning here with all my friends and family and half of Churriana, the village where I was born, makes me feel very happy.

"This has been the best year of my career."

He made his Ryder Cup debut in Boston and, unlike fellow rookies Andrew Coltart, Jean Van de Velde and Jarmo Sandelin, was used in all five series by captain Mark James, winning once and halving twice.

Volvo Masters final scores:

  • 269 Miguel Angel Jimenez (Spain) 68 67 69 65
  • 271 Bernhard Langer (Germany) 66 70 69 66, Padraig Harrington (Ireland) 66 65 73 67, Retief Goosen (South Africa) 62 68 70 71
  • 273 Darren Clarke 67 70 70 66, Sergio Garcia (Spain) 69 68 67 69
  • 274 Thomas Bjorn (Denmark) 66 71 71 66, Miguel Angel Martin (Spain) 69 68 67 70, Michael Campbell (New Zealand) 70 65 67 72
  • 275 Peter O'Malley (Australia) 73 69 69 64, Ian Woosnam 71 68 69 67, Jean Van De Velde (France) 71 69 68 67, Jarmo Sandelin (Sweden) 68 73 67 67, Paul Lawrie 69 68 69 69, Jose Coceres (Argentina) 71 64 68 72
  • 276 Peter Mitchell 70 71 67 68, Ian Garbutt 68 69 70 69, Colin Montgomerie 70 65 71 70, Anthony Wall 70 65 71 70
  • 277 Paul Broadhurst 73 68 69 67, Per-Ulrik Johansson (Sweden) 69 70 67 71
  • 278 Bob May (U.S.) 70 71 69 68, Zhang Wian-Wei (China) 67 72 70 69, Robert Karlsson (Sweden) 73 67 69 69
  • Mark NcNulty (Zimbabwe) 69 68 71 70

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