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4 September 2005

Omega ambassador Sergio Garcia wins the 2005 Omega European Masters

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"El Nino" is the second Omega ambassador to win the brand's eponymous tournament in Crans-Montana

Golf fans who made the trip to the Crans-Montana plateau were treated to another exciting day of golf as three players fought for the lead over the final few holes. Sweden's Peter Gustafsson started the day five shots off the lead but put in the tournament's lowest round of 64 to finish 13 under par after four rounds and take second place. The Swede, who is famous for his hats, confessed that it was the first time he had had chance to use an old driver that he had lent to a friend recently. Perhaps not coincidentally, the same driver helped him to second place in Spain and helped him to hit the narrow fairways on the Severiano Ballesteros course in Crans-Montana.

England's Paul Casey got off to a flying start with an eagle on the first hole - one of only four players to score an eagle on that hole and one of only eight eagles on any hole at all in the final round. He edged his score further upward with seven birdies and could also have been a contender for the tournament lowest round but for the four bogeys on his final round. He finished third overall on -12.

Garcia's playing partners Graeme Houston and Luke Donald put in rounds of 70 and 69 respectively to tie for fourth place.

It was, however, a consistent performance over the four days that helped secure victory for Garcia, and in particular two magical shots that won him the tournament: the first was his eagle on the 18th hole of his third round and the second was a chip on to the green and into the hole on the 16th on his final round. The international ambassador of title sponsor Omega put in a final round of 68 with a total five birdies. After a bogey on the 10th, things also looked shaky on the 11th, but Garcia kept his cool to save par with a 5 yard putt and later re-took the lead with his birdie on the 16th. The pressure from his playing partners then eased slightly as Luke Donald bogeyed the 12th and 16th and Graeme Houston the 13th and 15th. The Spaniard then simply had to keep his cool over the last two holes to stay one shot ahead of Gustafsson and take the title - his first victory in only two appearances on the European Tour this year after tieing 10th at the Johnnie Walker Classic. In a reversal of last year's fortunes, it was therefore friend, playing partner and temporary flat-mate Luke Donald who presented Sergio Garcia with the Omega red jacket and had a chance of revenge by giving him the same champagne shower that he himself received from Garcia last year.

Title sponsor Omega had double cause for celebration after the tournament: Not only had its second brand ambassador (after Ernie Els) won the tournament, but the company was also proud to announce a continuation of its title sponsorship of the event for an additional five years, thus securing a healthy future for the renowned tournament.

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