Australia’s Brett Rumford eagled the first extra hole to win a playoff for the Ballantine’s Championship against his countryman Marcus Fraser and Scotland’s Peter Whiteford.
Rumford looked to have the tournament under control in regulation play as he powered to the turn in just 30 strokes. The 35-year-old birdied the last five holes of his third round, so in the space of 14 holes, he was an incredible 11-under-par.
His progress stalled somewhat during the back nine on Sunday, but with two holes to play he still led by two strokes. The Australian hit a wild tee shot on the 17th, however, and it resulted in a penalty drop from a bush. He racked up a double bogey six and dropped back into a tie at the top of the leaderboard with Marcus Fraser and Peter Whiteford.
Rumford played another poor tee shot on the last and had to scramble to save a par-5 and post a clubhouse total of 11-under-par. Fraser also closed with a par, tying Fraser and leaving Whiteford with a chance to win the tournament outright.
The Scot played his third shot to within five feet of the cup but his putt missed and he too finished on 11-under-par.
The trio headed back to the 18th tee to settle the tournament in a sudden-death playoff. This time Rumford played a solid drive, giving himself a chance to reach the green in two.
Neither Fraser nor Whiteford were able to get to the putting surface in two blows, before Rumford struck a majestic second to within four feet of the hole. He sank the putt for eagle and the tournament win was his.
“It was an absolute rollercoaster ride of emotions out there this afternoon,” he said. “Obviously my last five holes yesterday and front nine today got me in a great position to take this tournament. Ballantine’s is always a tremendous sponsor and it’s just a great event.”
Fraser and Whiteford had to be content for a share of second place, with Frenchman Romain Wattel back in fourth and tournament favourite Louis Oosthuizen alone in fifth.
Blackstone GC, Icheon, Seoul, South Korea
Apr 25-28, purse €2,205,000 par 72
1 Brett Rumford (Aus) 73 67 69 68 277 €367,500
T2 Marcus Fraser (Aus) 70 70 69 68 277 €191,516
T2 Peter Whiteford (Sco) 70 69 69 69 277 €191,516
4 Romain Wattel (Fra) 70 69 71 69 279 €110,250
5 Louis Oosthuizen (RSA) 69 71 71 69 280 €93,492
T6 Stephen Gallacher (Sco) 70 68 75 68 281 €58,388
T6 Thongchai Jaidee (Tha) 71 72 73 65 281 €58,388
T6 Hyung-sung Kim (Kor) 71 69 74 67 281 €58,388
T6 Pablo Larrazabal (Esp) 70 70 68 73 281 €58,388
T6 Alex Noren (Swe) 71 67 69 74 281 €58,388
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage
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