Seoul, April 29: Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger left his rivals trailing in his wake as he romped to victory with a closing four-under-par 68 to lift the Ballantine’s Championship today.
The 26-year-old Austrian savoured the winning feeling for the time when he signed off with a four-day total of 18-under-par 270 to lift his maiden Tour title at the €2,205,000 Ballantine’s Championship which is sanctioned by the Asian Tour, European Tour and Korea PGA.
Second-placed Richie Ramsay of Scotland battled to a flawless 65 but was still not good enough to overtake Wiesberge, who was always in complete control.
France’s Victor Dubuisson, who took the opening round lead, grabbed a share of third place alongside 2010 Ballantine’s Championship winner, Marcus Fraser of Australia on 277.
Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Asian Tour honorary member Y.E Yang of Korea were the highest placed Asians after they signed off with 281 to take a share of 15th place alongside England’s Ian Poulter, Wales’ Jamie Donaldson and David Oh of the United States.
Starting the day with a five-shot lead, Wiesberger reached the turn in 35 after a birdie on the par-five fifth.
He continued to par holes 10 to 14 and there was never going to be any question on who will win the Ballantine’s Championship once the Austrian birdied the 15th and 16th holes.
Wiesberger’s victory at the Blackstone Golf Club was made even sweeter when he signed off with another birdie on the closing par-five 18th.
“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,” said Wiesberger.
“Every sportsman dreams about winning, especially a tournament that has been so well organised and has such great players in the field. To play the way I did this week is very special. I just wanted to get my hands on the trophy and I did that pretty well,” added the champion.
Ramsay, who posted his week’s best score of 65, conceded that he was never going to beat Wiesberger even if he was at the top of the game. The Scott then tipped his hat to the worthy Ballantine’s Championship winner.
“As a golfer, you never want to lose. You always want to be the one who wins. But to be honest, Bernd has played fantastically well out there,” said Ramsay.
“If you’re going to get beaten by somebody, it might as well be Bernd because he’s a good guy,” added Ramsay.
Kiradech got off to a good start with birdies on the second and sixth hole.
However, a costly double-bogey six on the 10th hole caused by an errant drive put paid to any hopes of a miraculous comeback for the one-time Asian Tour winner.
“That double-bogey on the 10th hole was a bad mistake. I didn’t drive the ball as good as I did yesterday and I paid the price for it,” said Kiradech.
“But overall, I enjoyed myself in Korea this week and I’m looking forward to be back again,” added the Thai.
Meanwhile Yang, who drew the large galleries to the Blackstone Golf Club all week, is hopeful that the event will eventually see a Korean winner, provided they move out of their comfort zone and gain more experience by playing aboard.
“The European Tour players have much more experience playing in different kind of weather conditions and they know how to better read the courses better,” said Yang.
“While some Korean players have gained experience on the Asian Tour, many are playing in this tournament for the first time. They need to gain more experience by playing abroad in bigger tournaments with bigger prize money,” added Yang, who is Asia’s first major winner.
Scores after round 4 of the Ballantine’s Championship 2012 being played at the par 72, 7281 Yards Blackstone Gc course (a- denotes amateur):
270 – Bernd WIESBERGER (AUT) 72-65-65-68.
275 – Richie RAMSAY (SCO) 70-72-68-65.
277 – Victor DUBUISSON (FRA) 68-75-68-66, Marcus FRASER (AUS) 71-67-69-70.
278 – Anthony WALL (ENG) 73-67-71-67, Miguel Angel JIMENEZ (ESP) 72-68-69-69.
279 – George COETZEE (RSA) 71-71-71-66, Ross FISHER (ENG) 71-72-70-66, Alexander NOREN (SWE) 75-66-69-69, Paul MCGINLEY (IRL) 71-73-65-70, Felipe AGUILAR (CHI) 71-69-68-71.
280 – Adam SCOTT (AUS) 71-76-68-65, Romain WATTEL (FRA) 72-73-67-68, David HOWELL (ENG) 73-69-68-70.
281 – Ian POULTER (ENG) 75-67-69-70, Y.E. YANG (KOR) 74-71-66-70, Kiradech APHIBARNRAT (THA) 76-69-65-71.
283 – Jeev Milkha SINGH (IND) 72-74-68-69, SIDDIKUR (BAN) 75-69-68-71, Thongchai JAIDEE (THA) 71-71-69-72
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