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Golf Today > Tour Schedules > 2006 > European Tour > BMW Championship > Round 4


David Howell coasts to five shot win

Britain's David Howell increased his lead on Europe's order of merit with a runaway victory in the PGA Championship at Wentworth on Sunday.

The 29-year-old will also move into the world's top 10 when the latest rankings are published on Monday.

"The world rankings don't lie so I had better believe it," said Howell, previously ranked 17.

The Englishman went into the final round on Sunday with a three-shot lead and was never threatened as he closed with a three-under-par 69 for a 17-under-par 271 total.

He finished five strokes ahead of Britain's Simon Khan with Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez a further shot back.

After shooting a 65 in bad weather the previous day, Jimenez, his closest rival overnight, had been expected to run Howell close.

Three birdies in four holes from the second by Howell, though, and bogeys on the sixth and ninth by the Spaniard, effectively ended the event as a contest.  

Khan, who languished 159th on Europe's money list coming into the event, stepped in to shoot a 68 and claim second place, with Jimenez treading water with a 72.

Howell's $903,000 win, his career fourth and his biggest, is his second of the season, adding to his Champions Tournament success last November when he beat world number one Tiger Woods for the title in China.

Howell rated his latest success above beating Woods, saying: "It's our flagship event and it doesn't come much bigger than this.

"I was able to put Miguel under pressure early on and my play over the front nine gave me a comfort zone."

The week before, Howell had been in such discomfort with a long-standing back problem that he had to withdraw from the Irish Open.

"Beware the injured golfer, they say. I always come back strong, it seems. I've done so before," he said.

The victory assured Howell of his second Ryder Cup appearance after he moved top of Europe's points table for the September match with the U.S. at the K Club, Ireland.

Khan's unexpected $600,000 prize saw him vault up the money-list, two years after he had been handed a one-stroke penalty for slow play in the same event on the same course.

Australian Brett Rumford's closing 65, in which he picked up six birdies in the last nine holes, hauled him to fourth place on nine-under.

World number three Retief Goosen launched a scathing attack on the Wentworth West Course greens after picking up birdies on the last two holes for a 70 that took him four-under but well down the field.

The South African, who was the highest ranked player at Wentworth, said he would not play in the event next year if the greens were not improved.

"These are the worst greens we play all year," Goosen told Reuters. "If they don't do something about them, I'm not coming back next year. When a course is like this I know I have no chance."

World number five Ernie Els, who has redesigned parts of the course, hit out of bounds on the penultimate hole on his way to a 72 that left him also four-under.



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