Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Miguel Angel Jimenez gives Colin Montgomerie another Ryder Cup boost

Miguel Angel Jimenez poses with the trophy after winning The Omega European Masters on a score of -21 under par at Crans-Sur-Sierre Golf Club in Crans Montana, Switzerland

Five of Colin Montgomerie's Ryder Cup side have now won since the start of August after Miguel Angel Jimenez survived a late scare to take the Omega European Masters in Switzerland.

Big prize: Miguel Angel Jimenez holds his newly-acquired trophy

The 46-year-old Spaniard, six clear with seven to play, had that slashed to one by Celtic Manor team-mate Edoardo Molinari and then hit a tree with his tee shot to the short 16th.

But the Italian was the one to bogey there, while Jimenez got up and down from a fairway bunker for a birdie on the next and, with a closing par, triumphed by three.

It follows the wins by Ross Fisher at the Irish Open, Martin Kaymer in the USPGA Championship, Peter Hanson at the Czech Open and Molinari in last week's Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles.

Jimenez finally got his hands on the trophy with a four-under-par 67 and 21-under total of 263.

“I made a good recovery at the 16th — that was probably the key to the day,” said Jimenez.

“I love to come here. It's not only my two times second, it's the amount of times I have finished top 10 and been in contention, so it means a lot.”

He was not the only one celebrating, however. Molinari's compatriot Matteo Manassero came third on 16 under following a 68 and with a cheque for more than £102,000 has secured a Tour card for next season.

“I am a full member for the first time. It was my goal and what I wanted to do and now I am here,” said last year's British amateur champion.

Molinari himself now heads off for a three-week break before the Ryder Cup, having finished first and second in his last two events, while Jimenez has come seventh, third and first in his last three.

They were the only two members of Montgomerie's team in the tournament.

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Ryder Cup wild card Padraig Harrington's heartbreak in Boston could turn out to be a blessing in disguise for the Irish PGA Championship.

Sent crashing out of the US Tour's $10m FedEx Cup play-offs by Saturday's missed-cut at The Deutsche Bank Championship, Harrington needs a top-class competitive outing between now and next month's showdown with the US at Celtic Manor.

And it's likely to come down to a straight choice between the European Tour's inaugural Vivendi Cup in Paris from September 23 to 26 or a bid by Harrington for his fourth Irish PGA title in succession (and seventh in all) that same weekend at Seapoint.

After his disappointing 76 on Saturday, Rory McIlroy recorded a 69 in his third round but having made the cut, he will make it into the 70 man-field at this week's third and penultimate FedEx Cup playoff, The BMW Championship.

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