Sport Golf

Wednesday 23 August 2017

Wiesberger gamble nets play-off victory

 

Bernd Wiesberger of Austria kisses the trophy after winning the Shenzhen International golf tournament in China. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Bernd Wiesberger of Austria kisses the trophy after winning the Shenzhen International golf tournament in China. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

William S Callahan

Austrian Bernd Wiesberger survived Tommy Fleetwood's spectacular late assault and pipped the Englishman in a dramatic play-off to win the Shenzhen International yesterday.

Wiesberger, who started with a three-stroke lead over the field, shot a one-under-par 71 to aggregate on 16-under and join Fleetwood who came up with the lowest round of the week, carding seven birdies and an eagle in a 63.

"Tommy has had a great day today and I'm just grateful to make that one shot when I needed to," Wiesberger said after lifting his fourth European title. "It could have gotten to me but I stayed calm, played on decently," said Wiesberger who displayed nerves of steel to save par on the 17th hole after landing in the water.

He took a gamble with his line on the 18th and narrowly avoided ending up in the water a second time, before making a good approach shot to allow him to save par and force the play-off.

The 31-year-old teed off on the same line over the water in the play-off on the 18th hole and played a stunning second shot to end up five feet from the hole, while Fleetwood played onto the fairway and finished with a par.

Wiesberger kept his cool to roll in the clutch putt for a birdie to seal victory as rain poured down at the Genzon Golf Club. Ross Fisher looked on course for a spot in the play-off, but a bogey on the 18th saw the Englishman finish tied in third with France's Gregory Bourdy.

South Africa's George Coetzee also shared the lead after birdies on the 16th and 17th but twice he found water to finish in 11th place.

Ireland's Paul Dunne carded a final round of 70 to finish on six-under in a tie for 33rd place.

Meanwhile, Graeme McDowell shot a final round 69 in the Valero Texas Open to leave him one under par overall as Seamus Power recorded 76 round yesterday. Kevin Chappell birdied the last to win his first Tour title after 180 attempts.

Irish Independent

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