Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger left his rivals trailing in his wake as he romped to victory with a closing four-under-par 68 to claim the Ballantine’s Championship.
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 Wiesberger, 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.
Fraser, who had lurked at the top of the leaderboard all week, showed solid play throughout the event. Trailing by one shot after round 2, Fraser battled hard in rounds 3 and 4, and had a glimpse of the trophy always in his sights. In the end, however, his putter let him down, as the putts simply did not fall when he needed them to.
Fraser was visibly frustrated throughout round 4, as much-needed birdie putts grazed by the hole, while his playing partner Wiesberger sank monster putt after monster putt.
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.
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