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Page last updated at 16:59 GMT, Sunday, 4 July 2010 17:59 UK

Miguel Angel Jimenez wins French Open after play-off

Final leaderboard:
-11 F Molinari (It), MA Jimenez (Sp), A Canizares (Sp) (Jimenez won at first play-off hole)-10 R McIlroy (NI) -8 D Willett (Eng)
Selected others: -7 M Kaymer (Ger) -6 L Donald (Eng) -4 L Westwood (Eng), I Poulter (Eng) -2 A Cabrera (Arg) +1 A Scott (Aus)

Miguel Angel Jimenez
It was Jimenez's 17th title on the European Tour since he joined in 1988

Veteran Miguel Angel Jimenez survived a final hole horror story to win the French Open at the first play-off hole.

The 46-year-old, who began the day two shots off the pace, had a two shot lead playing 18 but put his second in the water and took a double bogey for a 67.

But he made a par when it was played again in sudden death to oust Alejandro Canizares and Francesco Molinari.

Rory McIlroy carded a fine 66 and was fourth, while Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter were joint 18th at four-under.

Molinari had completed a final round 67 some while before the play-off began, and that delay did him no favours as he drove into the fairway bunker when the three players tied at 11-under played the 18th again.

Canizares twice went into the water at the dramatic finishing par-four hole but Jimenez, from a perfect position in the middle of the fairway, ensured the tension remained when his second shot flew over the green and found an awkward lie on a bank.

After Jimenez's chip ran around 15 foot past, Molinari, who had found the sand again, made a fine putt for a five, but the Spaniard holed out for the title.

There were some brutally expensive errors in the closing holes at Le Golf National in Paris, with water featuring prominently all around the 15th and 18th, but Jimenez's slip after a run of five birdies in six holes threatened to be the worst of them.

Kenneth Ferrie, who had been one off the lead, dropped six shots in the last two holes and finished at four under.

Robert-Jan Derksen suffered an even worse fate, having reached 11-under, dropping six shots with an extraordinary 10 at the 15th.

Martin Kaymer, who led by one shot overnight, looked to have recovered from an edgy front nine when he picked up two birdies in three holes.

But one behind Jimenez his hopes finally ended, also at the 15th, when he pushed his second and trickled into the vast expanse of water in front of the green, and his miserable day was completed by another double bogey at the last.


Jimenez then sent a magnificent shot pin high into the 175-yard par-three 16th and holed from six feet to open a two-shot advantage.

At the next, however, it seemed as though he might relinquish that lead after his second shot finished in waist-high scrub to the left of the green.

Astonishingly though the wily Spaniard managed to chip out to inside three feet and holed for his par.

But the drama was far from over.

After a magnificent drive at the final hole Jimenez was in prime position in the centre of the fairway but hit his second shot heavily and it was 15 yards short of the green in the water.

His fourth from the dropping zone came within inches of joining that ball in the water having spun back, but he was able to perch his right foot on a sleeper to chip up and take six.

Canizares holed a lengthy putt for a par at the 17th and after the error from Jimenez had a 20-footer for the title.

But it stayed out and the colourful Jimenez, who smoked one of his trademark luxury cigars while waiting for the play-off to begin, kept his nerve to land his second title of the year.

Westwood, meanwhile, confirmed that he is to have a scan on his right leg after playing through the pain barrier during his final round.

The 37-year-old is second favourite for the Open, which starts at St Andrews a week on Thursday.

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see also
Injured Westwood making progress
08 Jul 10 |  Golf
Kaymer boosts French title hopes
02 Jul 10 |  Golf
Steady opening round for Westwood
01 Jul 10 |  Golf
Olazabal set for France comeback
30 Jun 10 |  Golf
Kaymer hangs on for Abu Dhabi win
24 Jan 10 |  Golf
Kaymer beats Westwood in play-off
05 Jul 09 |  Golf

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