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Garcia wins 11th career European Tour title

Final Round – European Tour – CommercialBank Qatar Masters – Doha Golf Club – Doha, Qatar –

Sergio Garcia rallied Saturday in the final round of the European Tour’s CommercialBank Qatar Masters to shoot 65.

Finding himself in a playoff against Mikko Ilonen, the World No. 11th-ranked player converted his 11th career European Tour victory with a birdie on the third playoff hole at Doha Golf Club.

Garcia was T-11 heading into the final round at three back of Steve Webster and Rafael Cabrera-Bello. The Spaniard, now 34 years old, was a 6 ½-to-1 betting favorite to start the week at the Skybet.com. He also has 14 runner-up finishes on the tour.

Thorbjorn Olesen and Cabrera-Bello finished T-3. Both had chances to find a spot in the playoff, but failed to convert. Olesen had a late three-putt to derail his chance. For RCB, he was the 36-hole leader two straight weeks on the European Tour but settled for a pair of Top 5 finishes.

For Finland’s Ilonen, he should see a spike in the world rankings as the field included Henrik Stenson (T-28), Jason Dufner (T-72), Luke Donald (T-57) and Ernie Els (T-37).

Ilonen was 23rd last season on the European Tour money list. He closed this tournament with a 66 and nearly won the title as a 150-1 long shot.

Other Golf News:

  • Jordan Spieth earned his first 36-hole lead at 10-under overall. He carded a 9-under-63 at the PGA Tour’s Farmers Insurance Open Friday in round two, and leads heading into the week at Torrey Pines near San Diego. Spieth was Rookie of the Year in 2013 including a victory, Presidents Cup appearance and runner-up effort at the TOUR Championship.
  • Phil Mickelson withdrew from the Farmers Insurance Open after 36 holes. He made the cut, but withdrew citing a back injury. He is defending champion at next week’s event in Phoenix.
  • Jessica Korda (11-under) leads Paula Creamer by a shot and Michelle Wie by two at the LPGA Tour’s Pure Silk Bahamas Classic at the half-way point.
  • Cabrera-Bello, who has been working with famed coach David Leadbetter, ended up T-3 this week at the Qatar Masters following his T-4 effort last week at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.