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Sergio Garcia secured his first European Tour win since 2005 with a three shot victory over Peter Hedblom in the Castelló Masters at the Club de Campo del Mediterráneo in Castellón.
Garcia hosted the inaugural event at the the course he played as a boy and where his father is still professional. Despite playing some scrappy golf at times over the four days, the 28-year-old came out on top of the field, holding off the challenge of Swedes Peter Hedblom and Alexander Noren.
The Spaniard dedicated his victory to his countryman Seve Ballesteros who is seriously ill in hospital after three operations on a brain tumour. “I couldn't help but think about Seve," he said. "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.” Garcia took a four shot lead into the final round but Hedblom started fast to close the gap. The Swede made four birdies in the first four holes and, when Garcia bogeyed the par three sixth the pair were tied.
But Sergio bounced back with birdies at the seventh and eighth then played a solid back nine of 33 to stay ahead of his closest challengers. "I didn't play amazing and when Peter had such a great start I thought these guys were not making it easy for me.” He said. "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." There was a tense sub-plot to the tournament as it was the last chance for players to move into the top 118 on the European Tour Order of Merit and secure their playing rights for 2009. When the man in 118th place (Patrick Sjoland) failed to make the cut Francois Delamontagne was given a chance. The Frenchman finished the week in 47th place and earned €9,600. It was enough to see him climb into 118th spot on the Order of Merit by just €300.
1 Sergio Garcia (Esp) 66 65 66 67 264 €333,330 2 Peter Hedblom (Swe) 68 65 68 66 267 €222,220 3 Alexander Noren (Swe) 68 68 68 65 269 €125,200 T4 Simon Dyson (Eng) 66 67 68 69 270 €84,933 T4 Soren Kjeldsen (Den) 64 67 70 69 270 €84,933 T4 David Lynn (Eng) 67 66 68 69 270 €84,933 T7 Richard Finch (Eng) 65 66 71 69 271 €55,000 T7 Peter Hanson (Swe) 65 73 67 66 271 €55,000 T9 Paul Casey (Eng) 69 67 69 67 272 €39,000 T9 Stephen Gallacher (Sco) 67 70 65 70 272 €39,000 T9 Mikael Lundberg (Swe) 67 68 68 69 272 €39,000 T9 Rory McIlroy (NIR) 68 67 69 68 272 €39,000
Note: Players in bold signifies Titleist ball usage.
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Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly.
Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?
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