HONG KONG -- Miguel Angel Jimenez celebrated becoming the European Tour's oldest-ever winner on Sunday -- after a week that could have seen him fall outside the world's top 100 for the first time in nine years.
With a cigar in one hand and glass of red wine in the other, the 48-year-old Spaniard toasted a one-stroke victory over Swede Fredrik Andersson Hed at the UBS Hong Kong Open.
The victory also boosted Jimenez from 98th up to 59th in the world ranking, and he wasn’t the only player making moves over the weekend. Luke Donald's win at the Dunlop Phoenix tournament in Japan took him back to second ahead of Tiger Woods, Henrik's Stenson's first title since the 2009 Players Championship at the South African Open improved his position from 113th to 71st, and Adam Scott stayed in fifth place despite winning the Austrlaian Masters.
Rory McIlroy remained No. 1 in the ranking, with Donald now second and Woods now third. Lee Westwood is still fourth, with Scott fifth and Louis Oosthuizen solidly in sixth place. Justin Rose is seventh, with Jason Dufner eighth. Webb Simpson moved form 10th to ninth, while Brandt snedeker slipped from ninth to 10th place.
The second 10 includes No. 11 Bubba Watson, No. 12 Phil Mickelson (up from 13th), No. 13 Ian Poulter (up from 16th), No. 14 Steve Stricker (down from 12th), No. 15 Keegan Bradley (down from 14th), No. 16 Nick Watney (down from 15th), No. 17 Matt Kuchar, No. 18 Dustin Johnson, No. 19 Peter Hanson and No. 20 Ernie Els.
Jimenez is only five weeks away from his 49th birthday, but he didn’t have a single bogey in his last three rounds and closed with a superb 65 for his third win at the event -- all since he turned 40.
"It's always an honor to make records and I hope it's not the last one," said Jimenez, who is nine months older than Ireland's Des Smyth was when he lifted the 2001 Madeira Islands Open trophy. "I really love this place. You have to control the ball very well -- it's not a matter of distance -- and I played very solid all through the week."
With 19 European Tour victories now, there are only 10 players who have won more on the circuit than the former caddie who turned professional in 1982 and had to wait a decade for his first success.
He was Seve Ballesteros's vice-captain at the 1997 Ryder Cup at Valderrama, went on to make four appearances as a player, and in September was one of Jose Maria Olazabal's assistants for the victory in Chicago.
Michael Campbell was tied for the 54-hole lead with Jimenez and was hoping for a first win in seven years, but after an opening birdie he fell back and a double-bogey 6 on the 18th for a 72 dropped him into a tie for eighth.
Andersson Hed came through with a 64, but was left thinking what might have been after his 12-foot birdie attempt at the last trickled down the slope, curled left just before the hole and lipped out.
It meant Jimenez's eight closing pars were good enough to give him the title. He has almost $24 million in career earnings as a result.