Garcia dedicates Castellon Masters win to Seve

Garcia dedicates Castellon Masters win to Seve

Sergio Garcia dedicated his first European Tour win since 2005 to Seve Ballesteros after victory in the Castellon Masters on the course he played as a boy.

The 28-year-old, hosting the inaugural event at the Club de Campo del Mediterraneo where his father is still the host professional, closed with a four-under-par 67 to finish three shots ahead of Sweden’s Peter Hedblom, who signed for a 66, and five clear of Alexander Noren (65).

Ireland's Rory McIlroy finished tied for ninth on -12.

Ballesteros, 51, is seriously ill in hospital following three operations on a brain tumour.

“I couldn’t help but think about Seve,” said Garcia. “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.”

Having taken a four-shot lead into the final round after scores of 66, 65 and 66, Garcia held off the strong challenge of Hedblom, the only player who threatened to spoil the fairytale story when he opened today with four successive birdies.

But he never got ahead of Garcia, who used his knowledge of every nook and cranny of the course to complete a memorable victory and move up to third in the world rankings.

English duo David Lynn and Simon Dyson were tied for second overnight alongside Hedblom and Soren Kjeldsen, but failed to close the gap and ended up joint fourth after rounds of 69.

“It feels absolutely awesome,” said Garcia. “I didn’t play amazing and when Peter had such a great start I thought these guys were not making it easy for me.

“On the back nine I felt I had it under control and had a lot of chances and putts but didn’t make that many.

“It just feels very special and means so much. Just getting the tournament here was special for me and my family but to play the way I did and win it is awesome.”

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 from the tee 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.

Garcia immediately responded by picking up a shot at the seventh, holing a putt from eight feet following an excellent approach shot to regain the outright lead, 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.

There was also drama as two players battled for 118th place on the Order of Merit to retain their card for next season.

With 118th-placed Patrick Sjoland failing to make the cut, Garry Houston needed just under £8,800 to keep his card but finishing two under overall left him short.

Francois Delamontagne was eventually the lucky man, scraping in by about €300 despite carding a three-over 74.

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