Gonzo’s Big Bonanza In China

SHANGHAI, CHINA | It really isn’t ever over until it’s over. Gonzalo Fernández-Castaño chipped in for birdie on the tough 17th hole, a shot that became more important than he realized in winning the BMW Masters on Sunday. The 33-year-old Spaniard, nicknamed “Gonzo,” was sailing along smoothly at Lake Malaren Golf Club until it seemingly no longer mattered. The birdie at 17 gave him a three-shot lead going to the final hole. It turned out he would need every one of them. He found two bunkers and needed a 2-foot putt for double bogey on 18 to close with a 4-under 68, one shot ahead of Italian Francesco Molinari and Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee, both of whom posted 72-hole totals of 10-under 278. Molinari shot 64 Sunday and Jaidee 66. The victory was his seventh win on the European Tour and undoubtedly the biggest for Fernández-Castaño. It got him into the HSBC Champions this week, also in Shanghai, and made him a contender in the Race to Dubai at No. 4 on the money list. He also moves into the top 50 in the world ranking, which is important for him in 2013-14 as he plays a full PGA Tour schedule for the first time. Luke Guthrie, the 23-year-old American making his first trip to Asia, lost the outright lead for the first time since Thursday when he missed a short par putt on the opening hole Sunday, and he never got it back. Guthrie didn’t make his first birdie until the 13th hole, and he closed with a 71 to finish fourth. Defending champion Peter Hanson was 10 under for the final round until a bogey on 18 dropped
him to a 63, the low score of the tournament.

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