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Castano called it the perfect win,
even though his final hole yester-
day to win the BMW Masters was
anything but perfect.
Fernandez-Castano chipped in
from across the green for birdie on
the tough 17th hole at Lake Malaren
to build a three-shot lead. Then,
he let memories of Jean Van de
Velde s collapse creep into his head,
and only when the 33-year-old
Spaniard holed a 2-foot putt for
double bogey did he exhale.
"I made it a little more compli-
cated," Fernandez-Castano said.
He still closed with a 4-under
68 for a one-shot win over
Francesco Molinari (64) and
Thongchai Jaidee (66). Luke
Guthrie, the 23-year-old American
playing in Asia for the first time,
didn t make a birdie until the 13th
hole and closed with a 71 to finish
alone in fourth, two shots behind.
Fernandez-Castano gave Spain
its first European Tour win this year,
extending the streak to 20 years of
at least one Spanish victory.
But this was more for him than
The victory gets Fernandez-Cas-
tano into the HSBC Champions
next week in Shanghai, critical for
him to stay in the hunt for the Race
to Dubai. He moved up from No35
to No4 in the standings, and the
World Golf Championship offers
$8.5 million in prize money.
He won 851,346 euros at the
BMW Masters, putting him well
ahead on the European Points por-
tion of the Ryder Cup standings.
It also puts him into the top 50
in the world, which is critical for
the Spaniard as he embarks on his
first full season on the PGA Tour.
He will get in at least two WGCs,
and staying in the top 50 would get
him into the majors. Fernandez-
Castano is moving his family to
Miami in December.
"Just at the perfect time," he said.
"There s never a bad time for a vic-
tory, let s put it that way. But this
has been just the perfect one."
Lake Malaren was set up for low
scoring, with only a mild wind and
several tees moved forward. Defend-
ing champion Peter Hanson had
the low round of the tournament,
making bogey on the last hole and
still posting a 63.
Molinari played the final six holes
in 6 under, including an eagle on
the 13th hole, and he was tied for
the lead at one point.
Everyone seemed to take advan-
tage except the last two groups, set-
ting up endless possibilities. Fer-
nandez-Castano started to seize
control with a wedge into 3 feet for
birdie on the par-5 seventh, and
another wedge to short range for
birdie on the next hole.
That gave him a two-shot lead,
and he kept his distance from
Guthrie by matching the American s
birdies on the two par 5s on the
ATLANTIC CITY---Bernard Hopkins
turned his bout with Karo Murat into a
brawl and retained his share of the light
heavyweight championship with a unan-
imous decision Saturday night.
Hopkins (54-6-2) battered Murat for
most of the seventh, eighth and ninth
rounds to help successfully defend his
championship at Boardwalk Hall.
"I really wanted the knockout, but he
was tough," Hopkins said. "You know you ve
got to take some bunches. Yeah, I have a
little bit of blood on me but this is what
they want to see. They wanted to see the
knockout, so I took some shots."
The 48-year-old Hopkins extended his
record as the oldest fighter to defend a
major championship. He had winning scores
of 119-108, 119-108, 117-110.
Murat (25-2-1) lost a point in the seventh
round for hitting after the break and was
warned several times for questionable blows.
Referee Steve Smoger shoved Murat in the
face after another hit after the bell to end
Hopkins retired the "The Executioner"
nickname he has had for most of his nearly
25-year career and became "The Alien."
Hopkins walked to the ring in a green
mask with black eyes and a cape. He had
the "The Alien" emblasoned on the green
waistband of his black trunks.
The Philadelphia fighter also had the
crowd on his side, with chants of "B-Hop!
B-Hop!" echoing through the arena with
each right hand in the late rounds.
Hopkins finally busted open Murat in
eighth, with cuts above the left eye and the
cheek. The blood didn t appear to seriously
Murat, born and raised in Iraq before
moving to Germany, came out swinging
and attacked Hopkins from the opening
round. Hopkins built a successful career
with a methodical style of doing just enough
in the ring to win. But he answered Murat
and they spent most of the bout exchanging
In the co-main event, Peter Quillin
retained the WBO middleweight title with
a 10th-round TKO over Gabriel Rosado.
Rosado was busted open above the left eye
and could not stop bleeding, forcing the
ringside doctor to call for the stoppage.
Rosado was irate and yelled profanities from
the top rope.
"They knew he was getting hurt and they
stopped it," Rosado said. "I was hurting
him in the later rounds. I deserve a rematch."
Quillin, one of the best knockdown fight-
ers in the sport, sent Rosado to the canvas
in the second and was ahead on the three
scorecards when the bout was stopped 40
seconds into the 10th.
Complicated Fernandez-Castano takes BMW Masters
Bernard Hopkins, right, of Philadelphia, Penn. lands a punch on Karo Murat of Germany during the
eleventh round of IBF Light Heavyweight Title in Atlantic City, N.J. on Saturday. Hopkins won by
unanimous decision after 12 rounds. AP PHOTO
Hopkins retains light heavyweight belt
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