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Garcia in top form in Thailand

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

BANGKOK - Spain's Sergio Garcia cruised to his first title of the year with a four-shot win on Sunday at the Thailand Golf Championship.

The Spaniard fired a four-under-par 68 on the final day of the Asian Tour event, giving him a 22-under 266 for the tournament.

It was his 21st career victory and his fourth Asian Tour title.

Starting the day four shots behind, runner-up Henrik Stenson came within two of Garcia midway through the round. But that was as close as the Swedish star came, matching Garcia's 68 for the round to end on 270.

France's Alexander Levy clinched third place with a final-round 69, to end four strokes behind Stenson at the Amata Spring Country Club.

Defending champion Charl Schwartzel was one of four players who shared fourth place. He hit his second consecutive 67, but was unable to recreate his 2012 masterclass.

Joining the South African on 275 were England's Justin Rose who also could not dent Garcia's lead, Yuki Kono of Japan and India's Anirban Lahiri.

Chapchai Nirat was Thailand's best finisher in joint eighth place on 277 with American Rickie Fowler.

Australian Marcus Fraser shot a final-round 69 to finish one stroke further back on 278.

"It was great to win in my last tournament of the year," said Garcia, who sank six birdies and dropped two shots in his final round.

The win is expected to move him up into a top-10 world ranking.

With the in-form Stenson his main challenger on the last day, Garcia said he knew he could not afford too many slip-ups.