|Sergio Garcia of Spain bites his trophy after winning the Andalucia Valderrama Masters golf tournament in Sotogrande, southern Spain, October 30, 2011. REUTERS/Jon Nazc
Sotogrande, Spain - Sergio Garcia won for the second straight week for the first time in his European Tour career.
Garcia closed with an even-par 71 Sunday to hang on a for one-stroke win over countryman Miguel Angel Jimenez at the Andalucia Masters. Garcia finished at six-under-par 278.
Last week, Garcia went 27-under par, but had a tougher battle at Valderrama this week. He opened with three straight sub-par rounds to grab the 54-hole lead and parred the last four holes, including an up-and-down from off the green at the last, to hang on for the win.
"It's very, very special. I have so much history here and unfortunately it wasn't as good as this until now," Garcia said about Valderrama.
Jimenez birdied the second and third to grab the early lead. After three bogeys between the fourth and 15th, he trailed by three. Jimenez rallied with birdies on 16 and 17 to get within one and parred the last to post one-under 70. That left him alone in second at minus-five.
Richie Ramsay, who led after the first two rounds, birdied the 11th and 14th to join Garcia in the lead at minus-five. However, Ramsay double-bogeyed the 15th. A birdie at the last gave Ramsay a one-under 70, which was good for third at four-under-par 280.
Shane Lowry matched the low round of the day with his four-under 67. Lowry ended alone in fourth at minus-three.
Garcia looked anything but like the winner on the front nine Sunday. He opened with five straight pars and was passed by Jimenez for the lead.
Jimenez sank a 12-foot birdie try on two and came right back with a long birdie putt on the third. He fell one back when he bogeyed the fifth.
Garcia three-putted for bogey from the fringe on the sixth and slipped to four-under after a poor drive on No. 7 led to a second straight bogey, which left him one behind his fellow Spaniard.
Jimenez parred seven in a row from the sixth and Garcia made three straight pars from the eighth.
Garcia started his rally at the 11th. He pitched his third shot at the par- five inside four feet and knocked that putt in for birdie and a share of the lead.
Jimenez hit a poor chip at the 13th and that led to a bogey, which dropped him to four-under.
Ramsay, who played alongside Jimenez, had two bogeys and two birdies on the front nine. He converted birdie efforts on the 11th and 14th to join Garcia at minus-five. Ramsay then faltered to a double-bogey on No. 15 to quickly fall out of contention.
Garcia rolled in an eight-foot birdie try on the 14th and was suddenly three clear of the field. He scrambled for three straight pars from the 15th.
Jimenez put pressure on Garcia with birdies at 16 and 17. Trailing by one, Jimenez left a birdie effort short at the 18th, meaning Garcia only needed par to win.
Garcia did just that. He blasted to three feet from a greenside bunker, and knocked in that putt for his second straight win.
"I'm out of words. It's been two amazing weeks," said Garcia. "Miguel fought so hard and had some good chances coming in. On 18, I decided to play a little more conservative and make sure I hit the fairway, then the chip was just amazing. To be able to hit the chip I hit there and roll the putt in with the pressure, it was nice."
NOTES: This was Garcia's 10th European Tour title, and five of those have come on Spanish soil...Garcia joined Thomas Bjorn as the only two back-to-back winners this season...Garcia also earned a spot in the field at next week's WGC - HSBC Champions in China...Francesco Molinari is expected to defend his title at the WGC - HSBC Champions.