DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Miguel Angel Jimenez defeated Lee Westwood on the third hole of a sudden death playoff Sunday to win the Dubai Desert Classic.
Westwood missed a 5-foot par putt on the third playoff hole to leave Jimenez with a 4-footer for the win, which he calmly sank for the 16th victory of his career.
“After so many years of coming to Dubai and playing well, I am proud to have finally won this title,” the Spaniard said. “I have always loved the course, the ambiance and the people here.”
Both players went into the last day with a share of the lead and shot an even-par 72 in the final round, with Westwood making a birdie on the 18th to force the playoff.
The Englishman then missed two birdie putts from within 20 feet on the first two playoff holes that could have clinched the win, while Jimenez made a 12-footer on the second to save par.
Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand and Alvaro Quiros or Spain were also tied for the overnight lead but faded in the final round. Thongchai shot a 73 to finish third, while Quiros ended up in a tie for sixth after a 75 as strong crosswinds and faster greens led to higher scores than in previous rounds at the Emirates Golf Club.
One player who broke the mold, however, was Tom Watson. The 60-year-old veteran once again showed his mastery of windy conditions to shoot a 68 – his best score of the week– and climb to a share of eighth place in his first visit to Dubai.