sport

Jimenez in a fight for title

Miguel Angel Jimenez had a fight on his hands to win the Spanish Open for the first time in his illustrious career on Sunday.

Jimenez began the final round two shots behind leader Thomas Pieters at PGA Catalunya but had turned the tables in the space of six holes with birdies at the first, third and sixth.

However, the 50-year-old Spaniard then dropped his second shot of the day on the ninth after missing the green and failing to get up and down, meaning he fell back into a tie for the lead with Australia's Richard Green.

Green had carded three birdies and one bogey on the front nine, the left-hander picking up shots on the second, sixth and seventh to join Jimenez on six under par.

Pieters had endured a nightmare start to the final round with three bogeys in a row from the second, but the 22-year-old Belgian did birdie the seventh before dropping another shot on the eighth.

At four under par he was only two off the pace with Germany's Max Kieffer - who lost a nine-hole play-off in this event 12 months ago - and Scotland's Richie Ramsay on three under.

Jimenez dropped another shot on the 10th after a wayward drive led to his approach finding a greenside bunker and he looked certain to make it a hat-trick of bogeys on the 11th.

Another poor bunker shot left the world number 34 with a tricky downhill chip but he promptly holed it to save par and remain just one behind Green.

Jimenez missed a good birdie chance from 12 feet on the 13th but was gifted the lead anyway when Green ran up a triple-bogey seven on the 14th.

After hitting his second shot into the trees, Green had to take a penalty drop from an unplayable lie and after pitching onto the green, compounded his error by three-putting from 35 feet.

That left Jimenez one shot in front of Pieters, with Green and Luiten two off the pace on three under.

Green reduced his deficit to a single shot with a two-putt birdie on the 15th, a hole Jimenez could only par after a wayward drive into the trees.

However, playing partner Pieters hit a superb drive and short iron to within four feet of the hole to set up an eagle three to join Jimenez in the lead on five under.

Jimenez and Pieters both bogeyed the 17th after missing the green with their approach shots, and with Green parring the last to finish four under, the final pair needed a par to force a play-off or birdie for the title.