PORTIMAO, Portugal (Reuters) -- Miguel Angel Jimenez went to the top of Europe's Ryder Cup table and the tour money-list on Sunday, winning the
Algarve Portuguese Open by two strokes from Australian Terry Price.
A closing five-under-par 67 for a 16-under 272 total gave Jimenez a victory that has virtually sealed his Ryder Cup place at Oakland Hills, Michigan
in September - consolation for missing next week's U.S. Masters.
The 40-year-old was disqualified in the Qatar Masters last month after signing for a wrong score and that effectively cost him a place in the top 50
Jimenez, the leader here from the second round on, was put under pressure by 43-year-old Price, whose 64 equalled the course record set earlier in the
day by Swede Robert Karlsson.
The Spaniard was up to the task though and a closing birdie, his sixth of the round, spelt a comfortable success.
It was his second win of the season and his third in six months.
"You have to take life as it comes - what has happened now and not Qatar," said Jimenez. "Going to the Masters would have been good but now I've won
and I can enjoy it at home.
"I knew I needed birdies to avoid a play-off because I saw Terry Price was 14-under. I was always nice and calm.
"The Ryder Cup was a long-term goal and I will love to be there because it is amazing. The sensations you feel are something very special."
Jimenez has moved from fourth to top the European Ryder Cup points list, passing the one-million mark with 1,027,946 points.
He briefly overtook Padraig Harrington on top of the world points list, although the Irishman was certain to regain his lead after the close of the
BellSouth Classic and relegate the Spaniard to second place.
After also moving up from fourth spot to top the European money-list, Jimenez added: "It is a nice ambition to win the order of merit also but you
have to live life for the moment and this moment is winning the Portuguese Open."
Price, who returned to the European Tour last year after losing his card for six years, earned his best European finish despite still suffering a
niggling neck injury.
The highlight was a stunning four-iron approach on the final hole which left a mere two-footer for an eagle.
The Queenslander won the New Zealand Open at the start of this year's Australasian Tour season.
Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell and Swede Klas Eriksson, who both closed with 67s, tied for third place, three behind Jimenez.
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