Aiken gets second European Tour 2011 top 10

Thomas Aiken fought the wind all the way for his final round one-over-par 73 on Sunday to settle into a share of sixth place in the Commercialbank Qatar Masters.

He was unable to match the consistency of eventual winner Thomas Bjorn of Denmark, who made pars all the way until the 15th. Bjorn then made three to wrap up the win to hold off Alvaro Quiros.

Rafael Cabrera-Bello and Markus Brier shared third, with David Howell in fifth.

Aiken’s performance gave him his second top 10 of the year after his third place in the Joburg Open behind Charl Schwartzel.

He dropped two shots early in his round – at the second and the fourth – and, although he made three birdies, he dropped two more to slip down two positions on the leaderboard from his overnight fourth.

But his effort will see him move closer to the world’s top 100 on the Official World Golf Rankings when they come out once the Waste Management Phoenix Open is completed in Arizona on Monday – he was 113th last week.

He moved into eighth position on the Race to Dubai rankings with his winnings now totalling €237,028, just over €3,000 behind Open champion Louis Oosthuizen and €11,000 behind Retief Goosen who is in sixth.

Schwartzel leads at €419,927, courtesy of his strong performances in the Alfred Dunhill Championship, the SA Open Championship and his victory in the Joburg Open.

Goosen and Keith Horne were the next best of the South Africans in Qatar: Goosen closed with a two-under 70 and Horne with a 71 to share 19th.

James Kingston got the best final round by a South African, his four-under-par 68 lifting him 27 spots on the leaderboard into a share of 28th.

Darren Fichardt, who was in contention at halfway, was also in a share of 28th after a pair of 74s to close.

Oosthuizen had a frustrating four-over 76 in his final round, with five bogeys and just a single birdie. He finished 37th.

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