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Jimenez secures dramatic PGA win

FINAL-ROUND LEADERBOARD (GB & Ire unless stated)
-11 MA Jimenez (Sp)*, O Wilson * Jimenez wins on second play-off hole
-9 L Donald, R Karlsson (Swe) -8 J Randhawa (Ind)
Selected others: -7 R Goosen (SA) -6 P Casey, S Khan, St Webster, P McGinley -5 O Fisher


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See how Jimenez clinched the PGA title

Miguel Angel Jimenez secured his first PGA Championship title after beating England's Oliver Wilson in a tense play-off at Wentworth.

The Spaniard, 44, sealed victory on the second play-off hole with a birdie at the 18th after Wilson only made par.

Both players carded final-round 68s, ending up on 11 under, with Jimenez firing a hole-in-one at the 5th.

Swede Robert Karlsson and Luke Donald of England tied for third place, two strokes off the leaders.

Karlsson, who started the final round four strokes clear of the field, had four bogeys in his opening 10 holes to drop back down the field but three birdies on the back nine put him back in the hunt.

He had a chance from just over three feet at the last to make it a three-way tie, but he incredibly three-putted to end up on nine under.

Interview: Miguel Angel Jimenez

Jimenez was in joint second with Wilson going into the final day and both players fought out an enthralling duel as Karlsson fell away, the lead changing several times.

"This is my 20th season on Tour and it's a nice present," said Jimenez, who now sits at the top of the Order of Merit and will almost certainly earn his third Ryder Cup cap in September.

"I have been playing at Wentworth for many years and I have been in contention a lot in recent years. I know how to play this golf course."

Wilson, who has now booked a place in next month's US Open, was left to rue the missed 12-foot putt on the first extra hole that would have sealed victory.

"I was 100% confident I would make the putt. I've not been that confident over a putt ever," he said. "I cannot believe that I missed it. I thought it was my time.

"It hurts a little bit. I had that chance. I played great all week and I gave myself a chance, so I'm a little disappointed.

"But it won't be long. I wanted to compete in this tournament, which is the biggest one we play in apart from the majors, and that's sort of the next progression."

Jimenez's victory means that Open champion Padraig Harrington drops out of the top 10 on Europe's Ryder Cup list while Wilson is now in an automatic spot for the first time in seventh place.

Wilson, seven times a runner-up on the European Tour now without ever winning, had four birdies in his opening seven holes while Jimenez briefly moved to 12 under with three birdies and that hole in one.

They were on level terms when Jimenez bogeyed the 8th but Wilson took the lead when he birdied the long 12th.

Wilson then bogeyed the next after going just over the green and missing an eight-footer and Jimenez's two-putt birdie on the 12th put him back in front.

Jimenez made great saves for par on the 13th and 14th, but Wilson was level when he made a 25-foot birdie putt at the 15th.

606: DEBATE
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On the same hole, it looked as if Jimenez was going to let the title slip from his grasp as he three-putted it, missing from less than two feet, which gave Wilson a one-shot lead.

But Wilson could not retain his advantage, firing into a bush at the 17th which forced him to take a penalty drop for a bogey six.

The drama continued into the play-off, as the advantage swung first to Jimenez and then to Wilson on the first extra hole, the par five 18th.

Despite reaching the green in two, with his opponent struggling in a greenside bunker, Jimenez could only manage a par, leaving 27-year-old Wilson with a 10-foot putt to win.

But his effort agonisingly rimmed out and the pair headed back to the 18th tee.

Jimenez again held the upper hand after his second shot reached the heart of the green, with Wilson finding the rough with his tee shot.

With Wilson on the green in three, Jimenez needed only two putts to complete the biggest victory of his career - worth a cool 600,000.

Donald had the round of the day, carding seven birdies in a flawless 65 to move up from two under overnight.

Dubliner Paul McGinley, who had led after the opening two rounds but fell away in the windy conditions on Saturday, closed with an uneventful 72 to finish on six under.




see also
PGA Championship leaderboard
22 May 08 |  Golf


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