Marcus Fraser held his nerve amid the blustery conditions at the Ballantine’s Championship on Sunday to land the biggest title of his career.
The 31-year-old carded a three-under-par 69 at Pinx Golf Club on the Korean holiday island of Jeju to win the €2.2 million showpiece by four strokes, becoming the first wire-to-wire winner on the European Tour this year.
He finished on 12-under 204 for the tournament, which was reduced to 54 holes after play was held up for six hours on the first day due to fog.
Elsewhere, fellow Australian Brett Rumford finished on eight-under alongside Ulsterman, Gareth Maybin.
“Unbelievable, I can’t describe it,” said an emotional Fraser. “I just don’t know how I did that today. I’ve had so many chances to win in the last seven years, so to go out there and play like I did today and this week, it’s a big relief.”
Fraser, who collected the winner’s cheque for €367,500, admitted leading from the first day of the Ballantine’s Championship had increased the pressure.
“I don’t know if I have anything left in me to go a fourth round, but I don’t care,” he said. “I’ve worked very hard the last few years to be in a position where I should be winning golf tournaments, so it’s a huge reward.”
Fraser had dropped only one shot in the tournament before playing safe and laying up at the par-four 18th, where he tapped in for a bogey.
“At no point did I think I had it. I knew roughly what was going on but never got ahead of myself,” he said. “And on the last I just concentrated on getting on the fairway, and there was no way I was going to risk going for the green from there.”
Defending champion Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand, who started the day just one shot behind Fraser, returned a disappointing 75 to finish tied tenth on five-under, alongside Ernie Els who fell off the pace with a 74.