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Garcia beats Wilson in Shanghai

FINAL ROUND LEADERBOARD: (GB & Ire unless stated)
-14 S Garcia* (Spa), O Wilson -13 G Ogilvy (Aus), P Hanson (Swe) -11 H Stenson (Swe) Selected others: -7 P Harrington, P Casey -5 I Poulter, R Karlsson (Swe) -4 G McDowell *wins via play-off

Sergio Garcia
Garcia sank a birdie at the 18th to force the play-off with Wilson

Sergio Garcia moved up to second in golf's world rankings with victory over Oliver Wilson in a play-off at the HSBC Champions tournament in China.

Rain washed out Friday's play in Shanghai so players completed their final rounds on Monday, Garcia moving level with Wilson at 14-under.

The Spaniard holed a birdie putt on the second play-off hole to win after Wilson missed his attempt.

"Second is not good enough any more," reflected the disappointed Englishman.

Wilson had taken a one-shot lead into the final day, but a closing round of 70 saw him finish level with Garcia, who forced the play-off by sinking a five-foot birdie on 18 to finish with a four-under 68.

There was a time when I was pleased to be finishing [in second place], and it's gone

Oliver Wilson

Both players had chances to win it on the first play-off hole but on the return trip down the 18th Wilson's approach shot almost hit the pin, before spinning back to rest 10 feet short.

But his birdie effort just slipped past the hole and he slumped to his knees, resting his head on the end of his putter in frustration.

Garcia drained his long birdie putt to win the 3.2m event, leaving Wilson disappointed to have missed out.

"I hit a great putt. I can't believe it missed," he said.

"Sergio played great and didn't really miss a shot. So congratulations for him. But obviously I am disappointed.

"There was a time when I was pleased to be finishing there [in second place], and it's gone. It's about time I took my chance."

606: DEBATE

Wilson, who finished the 2008 European Tour Order of Merit in 11th place, was attempting to win his first European tour event. This is the eighth time he has finished second.

He was a surprise success in the Ryder Cup this year, playing alongside Garcia in the European team, and a second-place finish in Shanghai still sees him collect 350,000. Garcia picked up 530,000.

Victory for Garcia, his third in 2008 following wins in the Players Championship and Castellon Masters, was enough to displace Phil Mickelson and move behind Tiger Woods in the world rankings.

"I'm just so proud to win and get to number two in the world," said an elated Garcia.

"I'm very happy. It's a great week. The last seven months have been very, very positive since my win at the Players."

Garcia added he felt capable of knocking Tiger Woods off the top spot in the rankings.

"If I play the way I'm playing, I probably can," he said. "[But] you've got to realise that when we talk about Tiger, we're looking at the kind of player you don't see very often in history.

"At least I've never been this close to number one and it's exciting to be there."

Defending champion Mickelson struggled to a 73 on Monday and finished tied for eighth in the tournament, five strokes behind the leaders.

Peter Hanson of Sweden (66) and Geoff Ogilvy of Australia (70) finished a stroke off the lead, while Swede Henrik Stenson (71) was three behind.

The Shanghai event was the first of the 2009 European tour season, which will end next November in the Dubai World Championship.

The European tour has also rebranded the Order of Merit - the season money title - and now calls it the Race to Dubai.

That tournament will have a 6.3m purse with the same amount of cash available in bonus money.

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09 Apr 08 |  Live scores


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