David Law produced an incredible finish to overtake Wade Ormsby and win his first European Tour title at the ISPS Handa Vic Open.
The Scotsman had called a penalty on himself to surrender a bogey on the ninth after accidentally making his ball move, which left him five shots back at the turn. He was still three shots off the pace as he stood on the 16th tee at 13th Beach Golf Links but a birdie there, followed by an amazing eagle-3 on the par-five 18th hole put the 27 year-old into a share of the lead with Ormsby at 18-under par, a few holes behind. When the home favourite made a double-bogey on the 17th, the tables were turned, and Ormsby needed an eagle of his own on the last to try and force a play-off. When he could only make a birdie, Law secured a one-shot victory in just his 18th European Tour appearance.
The win completed a remarkable turnaround on the course for Law, who was on the brink of taking on other work over the winter before winning last season’s SSE Scottish Hydro Challenge hosted by Macdonald Hotels & Resorts and finishing 14th on the Challenge Tour to secure his European Tour card for the 2019 season.
Brad Kennedy finished in a share of second place at 17 under-par alongside countryman Ormsby, one shot clear of South Africa’s Justin Harding. Jason Scrivener made it four top tens from five starts in the 2019 season as he finished at 15 under par alongside countryman David Bransdon and Scot David Drysdale, with Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts and Frenchman Clément Sordet a further shot back.
In the women’s ISPS Handa Vic Open, which in an innovative week for world golf was also played over the Beach and Creek courses at the Barwon Heads venue for equal prize money, Celine Boutier carded a 72 to claim a two-shot victory.
The Frenchwoman finished at eight under par to hold off local favourites Sarah Kemp and Su Oh, and England’s Charlotte Thomas.
Boutier started out two shots from the lead but quickly had the reigns, after overnight leader, America’s Kim Kaufman, hit a 3-wood second shot to the par-five fifth, which skated off the back of the green and under a small tree. The American took double bogey and was on her way to a 78 that left her tied-eighth.
The women struggled with the course set-up on the final day. In the final group, none of Boutier, Kaufman nor Su Oh of Australia could break par. Australia’s Sarah Kemp, however, broke the mould; despite a double bogey at the first, she carded a 65 that put her in the clubhouse at six-under par.
Kemp, Su Oh and Englishwoman Charlotte Thomas tied for second at six-under par.
Of those, it was Oh who might have had the best chance of taking home the title. The Melburnian has had a string of top-10 finishes in the Vic Open without winning, and this was another. Her poor start — four dropped shots in the first four holes — made it tough for her.