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Jimenez wins playoff in Hong Kong

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HONG KONG (AP) - Miguel Angel Jimenez clinched the Hong Kong Open on the first hole of a three-way playoff Sunday, extending his record as the oldest player to win on the European Tour.

The 49-year-old Jimenez defended the title after sinking an 18-foot birdie to beat Prom Meesawat of Thailand and Stuart Manley of Wales.

''It just gets better and better. I love Hong Kong and this course,'' said Jimenez, who improved his record as the oldest player to win on the European Tour to 49 years and 337 days.

''This is my fourth and it was my hardest. When you need to play a playoff, you need to play one more hole, and against two guys also trying to win is hard. But my experience paid off,'' said Jimenez, who also won here in 2004, `07 and `12.

It was also his 20th career win on the European Tour, bringing the Spaniard within one of Scotland's Sam Torrance.

''I just love this course. It is an old-fashioned course where accuracy off the tee counts. You have to control the ball here,'' said Jimenez who began the day two shots behind overnight-leader Manley.

After the final round, all three players finished at 12-under 268. Jimenez had a 4-under 66.

''I turn 50 next month, but I'm still fit,'' he said. ''I stretch every morning, you have to do this to keep up with the younger lot.''

The 29-year-old Meesawat produced a nerveless display of putting for a 65 that included two eagles on the third and 13th holes. That pushed him into the lead for most of the day.

The Thai golfer played ahead of Jimenez and Manley, and watched from the clubhouse as the pair caught him.

''I was very pleased with my round,'' Meesawat said. ''But I had a few chances to collect a couple more birdies. Unfortunately, they fell short and in the playoff I had a bad approach shot.''

Jimenez knocked in a birdie on the 17th and Manley chipped in from the edge of the green to hole a birdie on the 18th to force the three-way playoff.

Jimenez hit his approach shot on the green at the tricky par-4, 410-yard 18th. Manley sliced his shot onto a corporate box roof, while Meesawat's approach fell just short of the green.

Both missed their birdie putts, and Jimenez made no mistake as he coolly knocked in the winning shot.

Robert-Jan Derksen of the Netherlands finished fourth after a 65.

Jimenez's fourth Hong Kong Open title matched the record held by Taiwan's Hsieh Yong Yo, who won the tournament in 1963, `64, `75 and `78.

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

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