At the awards-presentation ceremony following the OMEGA European Masters, Miguel Angel Jiménez received his championship trophy from Stephen Urquhart, president of OMEGA, and golfing legend Greg Norman. He was also given an Omega "Mission Hills World Cup" Constellation Double Eagle Co-Axial Chronograph Titanium and the red jacket indicating that he is this the 2010 European Master. The ceremony took place on the 18th green of the course at Crans-Montana.
Miguel Angel Jiménez showed an immaculate sense of timing when he followed up his first victory of 2010 in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic with a third success of the season at the Omega European Masters in Crans-sur-Sierre.
The 46 year old Spaniard, who also won the Open de France in July, held off an impressive charge by Italian Edoardo Molinari to capture the title for the first time in 22 consecutive attempts and provide another welcome Ryder Cup boost for European Captain Colin Montgomerie.
Members of the 2010 European Ryder Cup side have now won the last four events on the European Tour – Martin Kaymer in the US PGA Championship, Peter Hanson in the Czech Open, Molinari in the Johnnie Walker Championship last week and now Jiménez high in the Alps.
Molinari made a valiant attempt to claim back to back titles but Jiménez started and finished the last day in glorious sunshine with a three shot lead intact. Both players shot four under par 67s while third place went to 17 year old Matteo Manassero, who moved to 89th in The Race to Dubai and can look forward to joining the European Tour in 2011.
However, it wasn’t all plain sailing for Jiménez, who was six clear with seven to play then saw his lead slashed to one by Celtic Manor Resort team-mate Edoardo Molinari and then hit a tree with his tee shot to the short 16th.
But the Italian, who made a majestic eagle at the 15th, was the one to bogey there, while Jiménez got up and down from a fairway bunker to make a crucial par before claiming a birdie on the next . At long last, the Spaniard managed to get his hands on the enormous Omega European Masters trophy.
He becomes the eighth oldest winner in European Tour history and the first to record three victories this season. In fact not since Paul Casey in 2006 has a European taken three European Tour titles in one year.
Incredibly, 11 of his 18 titles have come since he turned 40 and he has earned more money in that time than in his previous 22 years as a professional.
"I made a good recovery at the 16th - that was probably the key to the day," said Jiménez after being sprayed with champagne and then being encouraged to jump in the pond by the final green.
"I love to come here. It's not only my two times second, it's the amount of times I have finished top ten and been in contention, so it means a lot."
He was not the only one celebrating, however.
Molinari's 17 year old compatriot Manassero came third on 16 under following a 68 and with a cheque for €125,200 has secured a European Tour card for next season in six starts as a professional.
"Mission accomplished! I am a full member for the first time. It was my goal and what I wanted to do and now I am here," said last year's British Amateur Champion.
Molinari himself now heads off for a three-week break before The Ryder Cup, having finished first and second in his last two events, while Jiménez has come seventh, third and first in his last three.
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