A scorching final round Sunday clinched for Briton Lee Westwood the Ballantine Championship which secured his Asian second consecutive title. But more than that, it reiterated his world number one ranking.
A five-under 67 was hit by the 38-year old Westwood to finish with a 12-under total of 276 at the Blackstone Golf Club near Soul, barely a week after he won the Indonesian Masters.
South Korea’s Park Sang-hyun got a 10-under and finished third in the event which was sanctioned by the European and Asian Tour.
Westwood, who trailed the leaders Sunday morning by three strokes, got back his top world ranking after his victory in Indonesia. He had to wait at the clubhouse as Jimenez, the overnight joint leader, still had to finish his round.
“It feels great. I must admit it was nerve-racking sitting there watching people play. You never wish ill on anyone but I’m delighted to win,” Westwood said.
“I’ve won two weeks in a row before but it’s still very special. It’s tough to come down off a win and get yourself re-focused, but the more experience you get the easier it is to do it.”
Jimenez, who was wearing a pony tail, had to get a birdie in the closing holes for a forced play-off with Westwood but he got pars on the back nine.
“We had a nice bottle of red and after dinner I said ‘I’ll see you in the playoff tomorrow’ and it nearly went that way,” said Westwood, who dined with the Spaniard on Saturday before winning his 21st European Tour title.
“Billy (Foster, his caddie) said to me on the sixth or seventh that 11-under will have a chance so that was the figure we were aiming for.
“It’s tricky out there. It’s a difficult course because it goes around the hills and it’s difficult to pick the wind up, it swirls a lot.”