The Star Online: Sports

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The Star Online: Sports

Manaserro becomes youngest winner of Malaysian Open

Posted: 17 Apr 2011 05:34 AM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: Italian teenager Matteo Manassero eagled the par-5 10th hole Sunday to help secure a one-shot win over Frenchman Gregory Bourdy at the Malaysian Open.

Two days before his 18th birthday, Manassero added two more birdies on the back nine on his way to a 4-under 68 to finish with a 16-under total of 272. Bourdy made a charge at the lead with four consecutive birdies from the third hole, but he bogeyed the eight and had a double bogey on the 11th. He finished with a total of eight birdies in a 67.

Rory McIlroy (69) had to settle for third, two shots back, after holding the second-round lead as he tried to bounce back from his Masters collapse. The Northern Irishman had four birdies and a lone bogey on the first 11 holes but seemingly fell out of contention with a double bogey on the 12th.

However, he rallied with three more birdies and could have forced a playoff with another birdie on the 18th, but his hopes evaporated when his second shot went too far to the right.

Manassero, who became the European Tour's youngest winner with his victory at last year's Castello Masters, said it was "just fantastic" to earn another trophy before turning 18.

"It was tough," he said. "The course is really tight and all the players were doing good and playing well. It's just not easy to concentrate, especially to stay calm."

Top-ranked Martin Kaymer was eight shots back in a tie for ninth while Masters champion Charl Schwartzel finished another stroke behind after a 70.

McIlroy, who had to take a nearly 30-hour flight to Malaysia and arrived only a day before the tournament began, looked visibly tired during the final round, despite maintaining his smile for the huge crowd swarming around him.

However, his caddy ran out of patience when some spectators ignored the ban on taking photographs while players were teeing off and asked officials to confiscate some of the cameras.

Manassero will move up to 35th in the world rankings next week. He received $416,6660 for winning the tournament, becoming the Malaysian Open's youngest winner.

More reports on the Maybank Malaysian Open in The Star Monday

Leading final round scores:
Matteo Manassero, Italy66-71-67-68—272
Gregory Bourdy, France71-69-66-67—273
Rory McIlroy, Northern Ireland69-64-72-69—274
Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Spain 69-70-69-67—275
Alexander Noren, Sweden64-69-71-71—275
Felipe Aguilar, Chile 70-70-66-70—276
Simon Dyson, England 70-64-76-68—278
Siddikur Rahman, Bangladesh 68-71-71-69—279
Alejandro Canizares, Spain 69-72-68-71—280
Martin Kaymer, Germany 70-71-67-72—280
Charl Schwartzel, South Africa 73-71-67-70—281
Stephen Gallacher, Scotland 67-70-72-72—281
Robert Rock, England 70-71-70-71—282
Shiv Kapur, India 71-69-71-71—282
James Morrison, England69-71-70-72—282
Soren Kjeldsen, Denmark73-70-72-67—282
Soren Hansen, Denmark 70-72-72-69—283
Joost Luiten, Netherlands 72-69-71-71—283
Jason Knutzon, United States 70-71-71-71—283
Baek Seuk-hyun, South Korea 70-73-70-70—283
Nicolas Colsaerts, Belgium 70-70-72-71—283
Danny Willet, England 71-69-72-71—283
Daniel Gaunt, Australia69-69-71-74—283
Tim Stewart, Australia 73-71-70-69—283
Kenichi Kuboya, Japan 74-70-65-74—283
Mark Brown, New Zealand73-71-70-69—283
Thongchai Jaidee, Thailand 73-71-68-71—283

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Hamilton wins Chinese GP

Posted: 17 Apr 2011 02:59 AM PDT

SHANGHAI (AP) - McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton overcame a pre-race car problem to win a thrilling Chinese Grand Prix on Sunday, passing Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel for the lead with five laps remaining.

Vettel made a strong bid for three straight wins to start the Formula One season but he could not hold off Hamilton, who made one more pit stop than the German and had fresher tires in the closing stages.

Red Bull's Mark Webber was third, driving a superb race after starting 18th on the grid.

Hamilton came close to being out of contention before the race even started, when a fuel leak was discovered in his engine. McLaren mechanics worked frantically in the garage with the seconds ticking down until the pitlane closed. Had they missed the deadline, Hamilton would have started from pitlane rather than third on the grid.

They sent him out on the installation lap with only one minute to spare, but with much of the engine cover missing, and that had to be drilled onto the car while it was sitting on the grid.

McLaren's Jenson Button was fourth, ahead of Mercedes' Nico Rosberg and Ferrari's Felipe Massa, who all led at various stages at Shanghai International Circuit.

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso was seventh, ahead of Mercedes' Michael Schumacher, and Renault's Vitaly Petrov, with Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi taking the final point in 10th place.

With three races completed, Vettel leads the drivers' standings on 68 points, ahead of Hamilton on 47, with Button on 38 and Webber on 37.

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