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1 December 2002

JACOBSON WINS OMEGA HONG KONG OPEN

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Sweden's Fredrik Jacobson, six times a runner-up on the European Tour, finally triumphed today after claiming the Omega Hong Kong Open at the Hong Kong Golf Club. <br/> <br/>The 28-year-old fired a final round five-under-par 64 to win the US$700,000 event by two strokes from Argentina's Jorge Berendt and Henrik Nystrom from Sweden. <br/> <br/>

Sweden's Fredrik Jacobson, six times a runner-up on the European Tour, finally triumphed today after claiming the Omega Hong Kong Open at the Hong Kong Golf Club.



The 28-year-old fired a final round five-under-par 64 to win the US$700,000 event by two strokes from Argentina's Jorge Berendt and Henrik Nystrom from Sweden.



"It's a big relief to finally win a tournament. Next year I'll be going into my eighth season so it's nice to have a win after so many near misses. It's nice to have the first one done," said Jacobson, who finished with a four round aggregate of 16-under-par 260.



The Swede started the final round one stroke off the lead and was quick to stake his claim for the title with a bogey-free front nine of four-under-par 30. He dropped his only shot of the day on the 11th to fall a stroke behind Welshman Stephen Dodd but took control of the tournament with birdies on 12 and 14, while Dodd bogeyed 15 and 18.



Jacobson finished second in the Scottish Open this year but this week was determined to finally take top spot.



"I didn't watch any boards this time, I tried to stay away from looking. I did see one board. When (Stephen) Dodd and I were tied on 15 under the board came right up in my face. I felt better than I have ever done before on the final day. I was really happy with, I stuck to my game plan," said the Swede, who won US$113,000.



The Omega Hong Kong Open is joint-sanctioned by the Asian PGA-run Davidoff Tour and the European Tour and is the penultimate event of the season for the former circuit but the second leg of Europe's 2002/03 season.



"My ambition was to win two tournaments in Europe this year but the season ran out at the Volvo Masters so I came to Asia hoping to win here and last week in Taiwan. I got half of what I wished for," added Jacobson.



Berendt, winner of the Cannes Open last year, and Nystrom, who birdied the last hole, both carded 67s.



"I did not get close enough to make a challenge. I didn't have many good chances for birdies, most of them were two putt range. I still feel fantastic, it's a good finish to the year and a good start to the new season," said Berendt.



Dodd, Denmark's Soren Kjeldson, and Scotland's Gary Orr all finished three behind the winner.



England's Nick Faldo finished with a 67 to lie in a tie for 11th place on 10 under. The six-timer Major winner double bogeyed the final hole to slightly spoil what had been a good week. He hit a five iron approach into the pond that guards the green.



"I played really well and only missed one green and one fairway. I had a really bad swing at the last which put the ball in the water. Apart from that I hit a lot of good shots. They shaved the greens so they were quick and slippery. It was a really good week," said Faldo.



Defending champion Jose Maria Olazabal had a poor final round of 73 to finish in joint 56th place.



"I was very disappointed with my round today. For the first time in my career I actually gave up on the front nine. I calmed down on the back nine but it was a bad day. I putted really poorly. I am going to have a long break now," said Olazabal.



India's Jyoti Randhawa fired a 67 to finish in equal eighth place and open up a US$23,000 gap on the Davidoff Tour Order of Merit list from Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee. One more event remains on the Davidoff Tour, next week's Volvo Masters of Asia in Kuala Lumpur.



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