Jiminez tops nearly man Wilson

Cigar-smoking, wine-drinking Miguel Angel Jimenez achieved the biggest victory of his long career at Wentworth today - and left England’s Oliver Wilson the nearly man yet again.

Cigar-smoking, wine-drinking Miguel Angel Jimenez achieved the biggest victory of his long career at Wentworth today - and left England’s Oliver Wilson the nearly man yet again.

The 44-year-old Spaniard, having holed in one earlier in the day, collected the record BMW PGA Championship first prize of nearly £600,000 (€753,236) with a two-putt birdie four on the second hole of a play-off.

“This is my 20th season on Tour and it’s a nice present,” said Jimenez, who as a result sits proudly at the top of the Order of Merit and will almost certainly earn his third Ryder Cup cap in September.

Wilson, who would have headed the money list himself if he had triumphed, has now been a runner-up no fewer than seven times, including four this season, and the Mansfield 27-year-old has yet to taste success.

This one will hurt more than most. It was his third play-off loss and a fine bunker shot at the first play-off hole had given him a putt to win after Jimenez had three-putted from the back fringe, but his seven-footer lipped out.

Then, when they played the long 18th for the third time in the day, he found the right-hand rough just as he had on his first visit and a 12-foot birdie attempt missed as well.

With one hole to play Wilson and Jimenez, seeking to be the third oldest winner of the title after Dai Rees and Arnold Palmer, were one ahead of overnight leader Robert Karlsson.

Wilson was in the group ahead and by missing a 15-foot birdie chance – he will certainly have no fond memories of the green – opened the door.

Jimenez was favourite when he was in the rough just right of the green in two, but then fluffed his chip.

A three-way tie was on the cards then with Karlsson only three feet from the flag with his pitch, but while Jimenez got up and down to tie Wilson on the 11-under-par mark of 277, the Swede not only fluffed his chance, but missed the next one as well.

That made him third for the third week in a row and this time in a tie with England’s Luke Donald, who had begun the last day nine adrift of him and shot a best-of-the-day 65.

Karlsson had come from four behind to four ahead in the third round and, although he warned the same thing could happen to him as it did to Paul McGinley, nobody expected him to be in that position by the 12th tee.

Incredibly, his lead went in the opening stretch. While he bogeyed the first and third, Wilson birdied the third and fourth.

Jimenez matched those two birdies and then, after Karlsson had gone ahead again, the Malaga golfer grabbed top spot with the sixth ace of his Tour career with a four-iron to the 212-yard fifth.

He and Wilson both turned in 31 to Karlsson’s 37 and when they both birdied the long 12th they were three clear of the chasing pack.

Wilson bogeyed the 13th after going just over the green and missing from eight feet, but sank a 25-footer two holes later and was ahead when Jimenez, after two great saves, blundered by missing from less than two feet on the same green for a three-putt bogey.

However, a wild drive down the 17th finished in a bush and after taking a penalty drop, Wilson could do no better than a bogey six.

Karlsson’s last-green shocker meant he and Donald each earned just more than £200,000 (€251,045). Indian Jyoti Randhawa was fifth and that was worth more than £150,000 (€188,284).

A week that promised so much for McGinley at halfway – his 13 under total was a tournament best – fell away badly. He could have gone top of the money list as well, but finished only joint 10th.

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