Bernd Wiesberger of Austria claimed his first European Tour victory at the Ballantine’s Championship in South Korea. He finished five shots clear of Scotland’s Richie Ramsay.
Wiesberger, who twice finished as runner-up last season, began the final round at the Blackstone GC in Seoul five shots clear after a pair of 65s in the second and third rounds.
It was Australia’s Marcus Fraser who mounted the first challenge to Wiesberger on Sunday. With a birdie at the third, he cut the Austrian’s lead to just four. But Wiesberger struck back with a birdie of his own at the long fifth, restoring his five shot advantage.
On the run for home Richie Ramsay emerged as Wiesberger’s closest competition. The Aberdonian had turned in 33, then produced birdies at the 11th, 13th and 16th to get within three of Wiesberger. Ramsay closed with another birdie at the home hole for a superb round of 65.
But it wasn’t enough to seriously threaten the peerless Austrian. He birdied the 15th, 16th and 18th holes to finish on a four-round total of 18-under-par. He played the last 59 holes bogey free.
“I just tried to enjoy it and I had the three best rounds of my life,” he said. “I tried not to make bogeys and I did that pretty well, it was awesome. My game plan was to hit as many greens as possible and try to make putts, and they dropped in the end. I didn’t get nervous, I had three or four shots. There was a pretty shaky moment at 12 but I made a great chip and a putt for par, but I just tried to enjoy it the last three or four holes in.”
With the victory the 26-year-old will move into the top-100 on the Official World Golf Ranking and he has earned an exemption on the European Tour until the end of 2014.
Ramsay finished alone in second with Marcus Fraser and France’s Victor Dubuisson tied for third.
Blackstone GC, Icheon, Seoul, South Korea
26-29 Apr, purse €2,205,000, par 72
1 Bernd Wiesberger (Aut) 72 65 65 68 270 €367,500
2 Richie Ramsay (Sco) 70 72 68 65 275 €245,000
T3 Victor Dubuisson (Fra) 68 75 68 66 277 €124,142
T3 Marcus Fraser (Aus) 71 67 69 70 277 €124,142
T5 Anthony Wall (Eng) 73 67 71 67 278 €85,334
T5 Miguel Angel Jimenez (Esp) 72 68 69 69 278 €85,334
T7 Ross Fisher (Eng) 71 72 70 66 279 €51,068
T7 George Coetzee (RSA) 71 71 71 66 279 €51,068
T7 Alex Noren (Swe) 75 66 69 69 279 €51,068
T7 Felipe Aguilar (Chi) 71 69 68 71 279 €51,068
T7 Paul McGinley (Ire) 71 73 65 70 279 €51,068
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage