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Garcia Rallies for Victory in Qatar
After closing with a 7-under 65 to tie Mikko Ilonen in regulation at 16-below-par 272, Sergio Garcia birdied the third sudden-death playoff hole to beat the Finn and win the Qatar Masters. The European Tour event began Wednesday at Doha Golf Club.
In securing his 11th European Tour victory, Garcia recorded three birdies on the front nine and four more on the back. The 34-year-old overcame a three-stroke deficit entering the final round thanks to six birdies in his last 12 holes. Ilonen tied Garcia with an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole for a 66.
It was the Spaniard's second victory in three starts. Garcia came into Qatar ranked 11th in the world, but will assuredly move up when the new rankings are released Monday.
"It feels good," he said of his first European Tour title in two years. "The up-and-down from the bunker in the playoff was key and I'm very happy to be able to win it."
Denmark's Thorbjorn Olesen had a chance to join the playoff but missed an eight-foot eagle putt on No. 18 to shoot a 68 for 15-under.
Third-round co-leader Rafa Cabrera-Bello posted a 69 to also miss out on the playoff by a stroke, tying Olesen for third at 273. Sharing the lead with Cabrera-Bello entering the final round, Steve Webster carded a 70 to drop into a tie for fifth at 274 with Alejandro Canizares (65) and Thomas Aiken (69).
Peter Uihlein had rounds of 69 and 70 on Friday and Saturday to end up as the highest-finishing American at 10-under 278. Brooks Koepka finished at 282. After getting off to a promising start with a 67 and 69, John Daly shot 77 and 73 in the final two rounds to drop into a tie for 61st at 286.
For all the scores, visit http://www.europeantour.com/europeantour/season=2014/tournamentid=2014005/leaderboard/index.html.