Sunday, April 29, 2012


Bernd Wiesberger sealed a dominant maiden European Tour victory in style at the Ballantine’s Championship, holing a 20 foot birdie on the final hole to finish five shots clear of Aberdonian Richie Ramsay at Blackstone Golf Club.
The Austrian closed with a nerveless round of 68 to consolidate his overnight advantage and never looked like relinquishing his stranglehold on the €2.2million event in Korea, producing a faultless display of front running.
Wiesberger won 367,500 Euros; Ramsay 245,000 Euros (£199,660)
A two-time runner up on The European Tour in 2011, Wiesberger had played himself into pole position for his first victory with consecutive flawless rounds of 65 on Friday and Saturday, and he was steady rather than spectacular on the front nine with his only birdie on the par five fifth.
Scot Ramsay, who closed with an impressive 65 to claim second place, put some pressure on the 26 year old, reducing the gap to three shots with a birdie on the 16th, but Wiesberger stepped up another gear on the way in and picked up shots himself on the 15th and 16th holes before a memorable birdie on the last hole signed off a week he will never forget.
“I can't say I wasn't nervous on the first tee box, but when I got the first shot out there on the fairway, it was a bit of a relief,” he said.
“I was under a bit of pressure when I had to hang in there on 13 and 14, and I was able to make a couple of good shots, and great putts, and I was pleased to finish the way I did.
“That long putt on the last and the celebration reflects the last four days which were awesome, and I really enjoyed it out there today.
“I felt comfortable out there. I thought I just had to do what I did the last couple of days, hit those greens and make two putts, and make a couple of birdies. It was key for me to do that and I hung in there. I was very proud of how I finished the round up.”
The two-time European Challenge Tour winner, who finished on 18 under par 270, did not drop a shot for the final 59 holes of the tournament following his double bogey on the 13th hole on Thursday. He became the third Austrian to win on The European Tour following Markus Brier and Martin Wiegele.
“Every sportsman dreams about winning, especially a tournament that was so well organised and has such great players in the field,” he said. “To play the way I did this week is very special.”
Ramsay, winner of the South African Open in 2010, carded seven birdies to finish on 13 under par 275, with Frenchman Victor Dubuisson (66) and Australian Marcus Fraser (70) two shots further back on 11 under par 277.
Whilst disappointed he could put more pressure on his playing partner, 2010 Ballantine’s Championship winner Fraser was full of admiration for the performance of Wiesberger who he believes has a big future in the game.
“I said to him get used to that because you're going to do that quite a bit,” he said. “He's as impressive a golfer as I've ever seen. If he keeps working on the right things and doing what he's doing, he's obviously got a great support team around him and he can go onto do whatever he wants.
“He's got so much in his game. A guy that size and who hits it that far and still putts unbelievably, you don't see that too often. He's got massive things ahead of him and I wish him all the best. He's an absolute gentleman on the course. It was great fun being out there and watching it.”
Spaniard Miguel Angel Jiménez (69) finished tied fifth on ten under par 278, along with Englishman Anthony Wall who eagled the last for a 67.
Australian Adam Scott, the World Number 12, finished tied 12th after closing with a 65 for an eight under par total of 280, surging up the leaderboard in similar fashion to his move on the Sunday of the Masters Tournament earlier this month.
“The game is right there,” he said. “I had three really good rounds this week, and I was away with the fairies on Friday.
“It's all there. I'm very confident with where my game is at, and I saw it there at the Masters. It came through on the weekend and it's come through here. It's soon going to be putting me in position for four good rounds.”
YE Yang, the 2009 US PGA Champion, finished as the leading Korean player after birdieing the final two holes for a 70. He ended the tournament in a five-way share of 15th place on seven under par 281, alongside, amongst others, Ryder Cup player Ian Poulter on seven under par 281
Par 288 (4x72) Prize money in Euros
270 Bernd Wiesberger (Austria) 72 65 65 68 (367,500)
275 Richie Ramsay (Scotland) 70 72 68 65 (199,660)
277 Victor Dubuisson (France) 68 75 68 66, Marcus Fraser (Australia) 71 67 69 70 (124,142 each)/

288 Scott Jamieson 76 678 73 71 (T49) (9,482)
289 Peter Whiteford 71 74 76 68 (T54( 7,186)
290 Marc Warren 76 72 69 73 (60th) (6,174)





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