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Mel Sole has 30 years experience teaching golf and is co-founder of Ritson-Sole Golf Schools, USA
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European Tour Article

Haeggman wins Qatar Masters

With a 16 under par total of 272, Joakim Haeggman lifted the Qatar Masters title and earned a career-high payday of €201596.75 (approx. $250,000). This was the Swede's third European Tour victory, the last being six and a half years ago when won the Volvo Scandinavian Masters in August 1997. His last round score of 65 was only bettered by one player, Denmark's Soren Hansen who recorded a 64 and finished tied for 12th place. A birdie on the last hole put Haeggman in the clubhouse two shots ahead of the overnight leaders, Nubohito Sato from Japan and France's Raphael Jacquelin who still had two holes to play.


Joakim Haeggman with Qatar Masters trophy
Photo - Getty Images


Nubohito Sato
Photo - Getty Images

Both Sato and Jacquelin parred the 17th  leaving them needing eagles on the par five 18th to force a playoff. Sato laid up short of the green to leave himself a short iron shot which he executed brilliantly, leaving himself a two-footer that he made for a birdie and solitary second place. Nine times winner on the Japan Tour and playing his first year in Europe he now looks set to retain his European Tour card for next year.
Jacquelin chose the braver option, taking his driver from the fairway but fortune didn't favor him and he found a greenside bunker. His recovery shot finished well short of the flag and a par earned him a share of third place with England's Brian Davis and Josť Manuel Lara of Spain. This was Jacquelin's fourth top-five finish from seven starts in 2004 and the experience he is gaining from regularly being close at the end of tournaments will surely soon result in his first European Tour victory. He also has the most beautiful, effortless swing which is a joy to watch.

Brian Davis's tied third place here, followed up on his tied fifth in last week's Dubai Desert Classic and, with one win already this year (ANZ Championship in February), it looks like he could figure in the outcome of more events on the 2004 schedule.


Raphael Jacquelin.
Photo - Getty Images



Photo - Getty Images

His ANZ win put him in the top 64 of the World Golf Rankings just in time to qualify for the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship where he went out in the first round to Robert Allenby. The points he has gained from his two weeks in the Gulf have moved him into the top 50 which is where he needs to stay for a couple more weeks to qualify for a place in The Masters next month.
Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain was disqualified before the start of the final day's play for signing an incorrect score card. It was judged that he should have recorded a two stroke penalty after his ball moved during a practice swing on the 12th tee during the third round. He believed his ball had returned to its original position and drew the attention of his playing partners to what had happened. The referees decided later that they could not give him the benefit of the doubt and that according to the rules he should have placed the ball again and taken the penalty rather than playing it from where it lied.
 

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