Sergio Garcia clinched a three-shot victory at the Castello Masters on Sunday and then dedicated his first European Tour win since 2005 to compatriot Seve Ballesteros who is fighting for his life in a Madrid hospital.
The 28-year-old Garcia, competing on the course where he learnt the game as a boy and where his father Victor is the still the club professional, carded a final round four under par 67 to finish three shots ahead of Sweden’s Peter Hedblom, who signed for a 66.
“I couldn’t help but think about Seve,” Garcia said. “I’m sending all my love to him and his family and hope he recovers soon. I hope this victory helps him to get a little better.”
Ballesteros, 51, is seriously ill in hospital following three operations on a brain tumor.
Garcia took a four-shot lead into the final round at the Club de Campo here after scores of 66, 65 and 66.
The Ryder Cup star held off Hedblom, who opened his final round with four successive birdies, and his victory moved him up to third in the world rankings. Alexander Noren, with a final round 65, was third with English duo David Lynn and Simon Dyson, who were tied for second overnight alongside Hedblom and Soren Kjeldsen, ended up joint fourth after rounds of 69.
Garcia birdied the first hole to move to 17 under overall but Hedblom did the same to keep him in his sights, and then reined the Spaniard back in with three more birdies to narrow the gap to just one shot.
At the par three sixth, Garcia missed the green and had a tricky chip which he failed to get up and down, while Hedblom sank a simple putt for par to draw level on 16 under.
But the Spaniard responded by picking up a shot at the seventh and extended that advantage with a birdie on the eighth.
Both players birdied the 13th and 16th and when Hedblom bogeyed the 17th to fall three shots behind, it was all but over.
AFP, SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA
Cameron Beckman made a par putt on the second playoff hole to defeat fellow American Kevin Sutherland on Sunday to win the US$5 million Frys.com Open for his second career PGA title.
Beckman fired a final-round seven-under par 63 to finish 72 holes level with Sutherland on 18-under 262. Each parred the 18th, the first playoff hole, but Beckman claimed the US$900,000 top prize by parring the 17th hole.
“I had the go-for-it attitude going,” Beckman said. “What difference does it make? I had nothing to lose. I mean, that’s kind of just what I carried with me all day was just let’s try to win the tournament. Fortunately I did.”
Beckman’s other PGA title came in 2001 at Madison, Mississippi. He denied Sutherland his first title in 181 starts since his victory at the 2002 World Golf Championships Match-Play Championship.
Sutherland missed a 13-foot birdie putt on the 18th in the playoff for the win. On the next hole, Sutherland needed four shots to reach the green. Beckman hit his approach to 6.5 feet and two-putted to win.
“I’m a little surprised,” Beckman said. “I had back problems. I had to skip eight weeks, and it has just been a tough year. “I honestly was thinking about quitting the game. That’s how bad I felt. I can’t explain to you how good I feel right now. I don’t know what it was and why I did it but I just felt good all day and it happened.”
Australian Mathew Goggin was third on 263 after his second 63 in three rounds on Sunday. Canada’s Mike Weir, last year’s Frys winner, shared fourth on 266 with Americans Arron Oberholser and J.J. Henry.
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