2004: Donald , Euros send message

Crans-sur-Sierre, Switzerland

One week after being named to the European Ryder Cup team, Luke Donald made European captain Bernhard Langer look like a genius.

Donald claimed his second PGA European Tour title in five weeks with a five-stroke victory over Ryder Cup teammate Miguel Angel Jimenez at the Omega European Masters.

Donald, who won the Scandinavian Masters Aug. 1, shot a final-round 66 to finish at 19-under 265. Jimenez, a winner at the BMW International Open Aug. 29, shot 72 and finished at 14-under 270. Sergio Garcia, also a member of the European Ryder Cup team, tied for third at 13-under 271.

Donald, Jimenez and Garcia were paired together for the final round.

“It was great (with) all three of us in the Ryder Cup being in the same group,” Donald said. “I think that is a strong message to send to the U.S. guys, and it is great for the European morale.”

Donald and Garcia spent some pre-Ryder Cup bonding time as the pair shared Garcia’s residence overlooking the course.

“I would hope this justified Bernhard’s pick,” Donald said. “I have been spending all week with Sergio, and we get (along) really well. It was a fun week, especially for me. This was more than I expected. I knew I had the ability to win two tournaments, but having the ability and doing it are two different things. I’m glad I made the decision to come over and play here and rejoin the European Tour, and everything has worked out just perfectly.”

Short shots: Robert Coles, who tied Garcia for third, had the low round of the week with a final-round 64. The finish secured Coles’ European Tour card for another season. . . . England’s Peter Baker played his 500th European Tour event. . . . Eduardo Romero, 50, and a two-time winner of this event (1994 and 2000), tied for third. . . . Several Ryder Cup players – Jimenez, Darren Clarke, Padraig Harrington, Paul Casey, Lee Westwood, Colin Montgomerie and captain Bernhard Langer – are scheduled to play this week’s Linde German Masters prior to next week’s Ryder Cup.

– Staff and wire reports

APPROACH SHOTS:

Next up: Ryder Cup, Sept. 17-19, Oakland Hills Country Club, Bloomfield Hills, Mich. 2002 champion: Europe.

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