O'Hern continues his money making ways in Wales
BY Bruce Young | European PGA Tour | 2004 The Celtic Manor Resort Wales Open | Wrap | 09 Jun 2004
Nick O’Hern may not win tournaments all that often, but he has shown over a long period of time now that his cheques in golf are as regular as that of a public servant.
Last weekend at the Celtic Manor Resort in Wales he finished alone in fourth at the Wales Open and, in doing so, recorded his fourth top ten of the season on the European Tour. He advanced to 37th on the money list and for the sixth consecutive year since joining the European Tour in 1999 he will easily retain his playing privileges for the following season.
O’Hern has won only one event outside of his home state of Western Australia, the 1999 Schweppes Coolum Classic which was interestingly enough the very last tournament of the 20th Century. There have, however, been a very high percentage of top tens amongst the many events he has played in Europe and Australasia, his consistency becoming the mark of the man. He has earned more than 2 million euro in the time he has played in Europe and another $A1.5 million in his homeland. O’Hern is a very structured player with a game built around accuracy and percentages. His course management has always struck me as being of the highest order and while he may not be winning as often as he would no doubt like, if the object of the exercise in professional golf is to make money, then he is being very successful at his chosen profession.
At last weekend’s Wales Open he never really looked like catching the tearaway leaders Paul Casey and Simon Khan but he was always assured of a top finish.
For 31-year-old Khan, he becomes the second consecutive first time winner on the European Tour following on from Scott Drummond last week at the Volvo PGA. Khan’s amazing 27 on the front nine on Friday set up a second round 61 which took him to the lead. To the surprise of many, he chased and caught Paul Casey on the last day to eventually win the playoff over his more fancied rival.
For Khan this was his first European Tour win after being backwards and forwards to the qualifying schools twice. While he had not threatened a win this year he had been regularly making cuts and his 24th place last week at Wentworth indicated, with the benefit of hindsight that is, that he was a very much improved player. Now that he has won and has the security of knowing that he has some guaranteed time on the European Tour, then we can expect much more from him. After all there are not many who can boast a nine holes of nine under and a competitive round of 61 anywhere, let alone while competing on the European Tour.
It was disappointing no doubt for Casey to lose, but to leave for the US knowing that your game is in good shape for the challenge ahead at Shinnecock Hills would have been pleasing. His sixth place at the Masters this year comes after limited success in the few majors in which he has played to date in his young career. It will be of interest to see how he handles his second US Open appearance after missing the cut last year.
Peter O’Malley was 12th, Marcus Fraser 15th and Jarrod Mosley 15th, Terry Price 26th, Michael Campbell 34th, Stephen Scahill 41st and Richard Green 70th.
The European Tour now heads to Gleneagles for the Diageo Championship.