Spaniard Jose Manuel Lara led from start to finish to win the Hong Kong Open with a closing round 1-under 69 yesterday that edged Juvic Pagunsan of the Philippines by one stroke.
Lara shot three birdies against two bogeys for a 15-under 265 to capture his first victory on the European Tour. He tied for third in last month's Mallorca Classic in Spain.
Pagunsan fired three birdies and two bogeys for a final round 68 and 14-under 266 overall for the tournament, jointly sanctioned by the Asian and European Tours.
Pangunsan's only professional win was at the 2006 Country Club Invitational in the Philippines. But he seemed unfazed by the pressure of leading a US$2 million tournament and spent much of the day smiling and laughing between strokes.
Finishing three strokes back in third place was Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee (67), and Indian golfers Jeev Milkha Singh (66) and Jyoti Randhawa (66), who shared the lead with Lara after the first round.
Spain's Miguel Angel Jimenez shot a 2-under 68 to share fourth place with Denmark's Soren Kjelsdsen, who had a 67 for a total 11-under 269. Jiminez had a chance to move into third place, but he bogeyed the 18th when his short putt lipped out.
Defending champion Colin Montgomerie finished 10 strokes off the lead.