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Jimenez closes with 67 to win Greater Gwinnett

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 20, 2014 at 7:04 pm •  Published: April 20, 2014
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DULUTH, Ga. (AP) — Miguel Angel Jimenez quickly shifted his focus back to the Ryder Cup after winning his first Champions Tour event.

Jimenez held off Bernhard Langer to win the Greater Gwinnett Championship on Sunday, becoming only the third player to lead from start to finish in his debut on the 50-and-over tour.

Jimenez, coming off a fourth-place finish in the Masters, closed with a 67 to finish two strokes ahead of Langer. Jimenez finished the tournament with 32 consecutive holes without a bogey at TPC Sugarloaf.

The Spaniard said he can't make a commitment to the Champions Tour this year because his goal is making the European Ryder Cup team.

"To me it's not about money," Jimenez said. "It's about some different goals to make me feel proud of myself. To me I would feel nice to play on the Ryder Cup once more."

Langer, the defending champion, shot his third-straight 68. Jimenez and Langer were tied at 10 under before a two-shot swing on No. 8. Jimenez needed only a short putt for a birdie, and Langer fell two strokes behind with his bogey.

After that, Jimenez avoided mistakes down the stretch, leaving no opening for Langer or Jay Haas, who shot 67 and was third, four shots off the lead.

Jimenez insisted the win wasn't easy.

"When you hit the ball straight and you put the ball close to the hole it looks easy, but nothing is easy," he said. "You need to keep calm yourself. ... I like to feel the pressure and ... the people that are coming behind bite me."

Langer said his inability to make birdie putts kept him from putting pressure on Jimenez.

"I had a number of opportunities, just couldn't make any putts today," Langer said. "And he played very, very solid all day."

Jimenez stretched his lead to three strokes before he showed that on this day even his mistakes brought no harm. He hit his tee shot on No. 15 into a tree — but it bounced back into the fairway. From there, he hit his next shot into a bunker but still salvaged par.

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