Rumford claims first European Tour win
BY Bruce Young | European PGA Tour | 2003 Aa St Omer Open | Wrap | 16 Jun 2003
To say it’s been a good weekend for golf in Western Australia would be somewhat of an understatement. With his fellow West Australian Stephen Leaney performing amazing deeds across the Atlantic at the US Open in Chicago, 26-year-old Brett Rumford was escaping much of the limelight as he went about his business at the Aa St Omer Open in France.
Although it wasn’t a particularly strong field, with most of the leading Europeans in Chicago, that will be of little relevance to Rumford. His five shot win is not only his first win on the European Tour, but most importantly, it regains the full European Tour card he lost last year plus it is his first win of significance as a professional.
It is true that he won the TPC at Royal Queensland in 1999 beating Craig Spence in a playoff, but that was a month or so before he turned professional. This was just his seventh start on the European Tour this season year but he has been able to play the occasional Challenge Tour event to maintain continuity in his game. With this win he now has full access to the European Tour for at least the next eighteen months and the opportunity to further develop his considerable game.
He won after being challenged early in the final round by Englishman Ben Mason who had closed the original three shot gap, to just one, after six holes. Rumford began to separate himself from the rest of the field however, with a birdie at the 10th followed by two more at the 12th and 13th and by then it was effectively all over. Although he bogeyed the 17th, he was home by five. Mason was second, five shots back, with another four shots to the Italian Fredrico Bisazza in third pace.
Australian Lucas Parsons was 16th with Marcus Fraser and Brad Kennedy 51st.
The European Tour now moves to Scotland for the Diageo Championship at Gleneagles.