Sergio Garcia, shown at a tournament last September, claimed the title at the European Tour's Qatar Open by beating Mikko Ilonen on the third hole of a sudden-death playoff Saturday. UPI/David Tulis | License Photo
DOHA, Qatar, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- Sergio Garcia had a birdie on the third hole of a playoff Saturday and won the European Tour's Commercial Qatar Masters.
Garcia and Mikko Ilonen each had very good final rounds in moving from well back in the field to tie for first after 72 holes.
Both players started the playoff with eagle tries at the par-5, 598-yard 18th hole, but Ilonen missed from 30 feet and Garcia from 15 in settling for birdies. Both again had birdies with Ilonen again missing for eagle from 20 feet and Garcia getting up-and-down for a 4 from a greenside bunker.
On the third playoff hole, Ilonen ended up in the same bunker as Garcia was in but was unable to make birdie and Garcia tapped in for a 4 and the title.
It was the 26th win overall for Garcia and 11th on the European Tour. It was his first win on any tour since August 2012 when he took the PGA's Wyndham Championship.
Garcia used a bogey-free 7-under-par 65 to post a 72-hole total of 16-under 272 early in Saturday's play. Interesting, he had a par at the 18th after scoring birdie there each of the first three days. Counting the playoff, he played the 18th hole seven times in the tournament, getting six birdies.
Ilonen was 6-under, with one bogey, for the final round. A birdie at the 18th tied him with Garcia after 72 holes.
Third-round leader Rafa Cabrera-Bello (69 Saturday) finished tied with Thorbjorn Olesen (68) for third at 15 under. Thomas Aiken (69), Alejandro Canizares (65), George Coetzee (68) and Steve Webster (70) tied for fifth at 14-under.