Ashun Wu of China claimed his second European Tour title in the Lyoness Open powered by Sporthilfe Cashback Card, winning by a single shot from Spain’s Adrian Otaegui.
Ashun Wu, who won last year’s Volvo China Open, started the round one behind 54-hole leader Zander Lombard of South Africa. But the 30-year-old from China stormed out of the blocks with a birdie at his opening hole to tie the South African at the top of the board.
Wu was three clear after nine holes after racing to the turn in just 32 strokes. But, he faltered at the start of the back nine with a double bogey at the 10th and a bogey on the 11th. When a charging Richard McEvoy of England made a birdie at the 13th, Wu was pushed down into second place.
But Wu composed himself and struck back with a birdie of his own at the 13th. Otaegui joined Wu at 13-under with a birdie at the 16th. With two to play the pair had a one shot lead over McEvoy who was standing on the tee of the par-3 18th.
Both Wu and Otaegui found the rough from the tee on the difficult penultimate hole while a nervy McEvoy pulled his tee shot left of the green on the home hole.
Neither the Chinese player nor the Spaniard were able to find the green in regulation on the 17th and McEvoy was unable to get up-and-down to save par on the last – the Englishman finished at 11-under.
Wu played a great pitch on the 17th and holed from five-feet to stay on 13-under. Otaegui also played an excellent chip shot on the 71st hole, but his putt just stayed out.
Wu took a one-shot lead to the final hole and he maintained it with a solid two-putt. Otaegui narrowly missed his birdie chance and had to be content with second place.
3 Talking points from the Lyoness Open
1 – This was Ashun Wu’s second European Tour victory following the Volvo China Open of 2015. He is the first Chinese player to win a European Tour event on European soil. It marks quite a turnaround in Wu’s 2016 European Tour season. Prior to this week he had been struggling a little on the circuit and was outside the top-100 on the Race to Dubai, with only just over €100,000 in earnings. This victory has pushed him up the standings into the top-60 and it should see him move inside the top-125 on the Official World Golf Ranking.
“It feels great to win this tournament,” he said. “It was hard but I stayed strong mentally and I am so happy to get the victory. I had a lot of friends around me this week and that helped me a lot, so thanks to them.”
2 – Although Adrian Otaegui will have been disappointed to narrowly miss out on the victory, it was an important week for the Spaniard. He too had been languishing outside the top-100 on the 2016 Race to Dubai and, by picking up a cheque for €111,000, he has gone a long way toward securing playing privileges for next season. This was his best finish in a European Tour event.
3 – It was a good week for Englishmen Richard McEvoy and Chris Wood. McEvoy secured his best finish on the European Tour since 2011, ending the week in a tie for third. Wood continued to show the good form that secured him victory in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth. The Englishman finished his title defence in Austria with a 68 to end the tournament in a tie for sixth. He will go into next week’s U.S. Open Championship at Oakmont full of confidence.
Chris Wood behind the scenes with Mizuno MP5 irons:
Lyoness Open powered by Sporthilfe Cashback Card
Diamond CC, Atzenbrugg, Austria
Purse €1,000,000, par 72
1 Ashun Wu (Chn) 69 72 65 69 275 €166,660
2 Adrian Otaegui (Esp) 64 76 67 69 276 €111,110
3 Richard McEvoy (Eng) 71 69 68 69 277 €62,600
4 James Morrison (Eng) 70 72 68 68 278 €50,000
5 Zander Lombard (RSA) 67 70 68 74 279 €42,400
T6 Gary Stal (Fra) 67 71 76 66 280 €28,100
T6 Chris Wood (Eng) 71 71 70 68 280 €28,100
T6 Gregory Bourdy (Fra) 68 69 70 73 280 €28,100
T6 Joost Luiten (Ned) 69 71 68 72 280 €28,100
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage