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Garcia wins the Mallorca Classic


Sergio Garcia lived up to his billing as pre-tournament favourite perfectly when he cruised to victory in the Mallorca Classic at Pula Golf Club, the 24 year old Spaniard notching his fifth European Tour International Schedule title in his 69th event.

One of the heroes of Europe’s Ryder Cup victory at Oakland Hills Country Club last month, Garcia started the final day level with Simon Khan, but recovered from an uncertain start to gradually pull away from the Englishman to win by four shots, the Spaniard carding a closing 67 for a 12 under par total of 268, while Khan finished with a 71 for 272.

Another Spaniard, Carlos Rodiles, took third place on seven under par 273 after his closing 69 which featured four birdies and three bogeys, while the trio of Markus Brier, Francois Delamontagne and Santiago Luna shared fourth on 274.

But the day belonged to Garcia, who claimed his third win of the season following two US PGA Tour successes, and who has now claimed two consecutive victories on Spanish soil, following his win in the 2002 Canarias Open de España at El Cortijo Club.

"I was really committed to come here and try to win, unless I win a WGC event or a Major, I only have a few chances to win in Europe, and to be able to do it in Spain makes it even sweeter,” said Garcia.

"The way I was playing maybe I would have had a chance at Wentworth Club (in the HSBC World Match Play Championship) but I don't care. I'm happy here with my people and it's a wonderful feeling to come through like I did and play the last 13 holes in five under par."

Eleventh in the Official World Golf Rankings at the start of the week, 57 places ahead of his nearest challenger, Garcia was as short as 3/1 to win in Mallorca but bogeyed the first two holes in the final round today to fall three shots behind playing partner Khan after the English golfer opened with a birdie.

"I don't know why my head wasn't in the right place at the beginning, I was a bit tentative and Simon started well which put a little bit of pressure on me," admitted Garcia."Getting up and down for par on the third and fourth was huge for me to keep me in the right mood and after that I started loosening up and made a few birdies."

Crucially, while Garcia saved par on those two holes Khan – who won The Celtic Manor Wales Open in June ranked 255th in the world when a shock winner of the Wales Open in June - was dropping shots over the same stretch and a birdie on the sixth drew the Spaniard level.

Both players then birdied the seventh and bogeyed the eighth before Garcia took the lead for the first time with a birdie from eight feet on the ninth. The key hole proved to be the 11th however, Khan going over the green to bogey while his playing partner holed from four feet for birdie and a decisive two-shot swing.

"That was the key," admitted Khan, who considered pulling out of the event after being forced to miss Wednesday's pro-am with flu. "The second shot jumped on me and I had no shot from over the green. But to be fair Sergio showed his class, just when he needed to he produced the shots at the right time.

"In the end I'm happy. If I had holed the putts I had over the first two days on the weekend I feel I could have won but I never felt comfortable with the putter. And when Sergio had the chance he took control and you can't fault him for that."

ourtesy of http://www.europeantour.com 

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