Bjorn rallies to win Qatar Masters
Denmark's Thomas Bjorn won the Qatar Masters Sunday for his 11th European Tour title, beating Spain's Alvaro Quiros by four shots.
Overnight leader Bjorn, who won his first tournament since the Estoril Open in Portugal last year, shot a bogey-free, 3-under 69 for a tournament total of 14-under 274. The 39-year-old Dane had three birdies in the final round, including one on the 18th.
Quiros, who closed within two shots of the lead with a birdie on the 14th, faltered at the end. He bogeyed two of the final four holes, including a three-putt on 15. Quiros' compatriot Rafael Cabrera-Bello and Markus Brier of Austria, who held the lead after the second round, finished another shot back.
Second-ranked Martin Kaymer, who needed to finish at least second to overtake Lee Westwood as top-ranked player, shot a 1-under 71 to finish 2 under for the tournament in a tie for 28th.
Holding a one-shot lead over Brier coming into the final round, 134th-ranked Bjorn said it was a question of "hanging in there" on the final day. He admitted he didn't play inspiring golf early on but made up for it with all his birdies coming on the back nine.
"I played solid golf. I think I made one bogey in the last 54 holes. On this golf course and in these conditions, that's good going," Bjorn said, referring to the high winds on Thursday that made the course almost unplayable.
Bjorn added that the win was made all the more special because the field included the likes of the top-ranked Westwood, who didn't make the cut and 7th-ranked Steve Stricker, who finished 1 over in a tie for 45th.
"Well, the field this week was unbelievably strong, and you know, that shows where European Tour golf is at the moment," Bjorn said. "We have got a lot of players up there in the top 10 and a lot of them played this week. You know, that gives you a few extra points."
Quiros, who also finished second last year, was left to ponder a poor finish that took the pressure off Bjorn coming into the final holes.
"I was thinking I was going to finish in the top five and if I'm going to finish second I'm lucky by myself. Unfortunately I made three putts on 15, and I made a stupid bogey on 17," Quiros said. "After that, it's going to be tough to reach him. But anyway, I'm very pleased to be where I am."
Kaymer never recovered from an opening round 77 that knocked him off the leaderboard and came into the final round 10 shots off the lead.
"I knew after the first day that I'll struggle," he said. "So I concentrated hard and my aim was to finish in the top-10. Happy to finish off the way it is."