Bourdy wins ISPS Handa Wales Open
BY European Tour | European PGA Tour | 2013 ISPS Handa Wales Open | Wrap | 02 Sep 2013
Grégory Bourdy stormed to a dramatic victory at the ISPS Handa Wales Open, holing a trio of huge birdie putts on the final three holes to seal his fourth European Tour title at The Celtic Manor Resort.
In a finish worthy of the former Ryder Cup venue and the week which marks the beginning of the points race for the 2014 contest at Gleneagles, Bourdy sank a 40-footer on the 16th hole to begin a remarkable run of gains.
He followed that up by sinking another from 15 feet at the 17th, and just when his closest contender Peter Uihlein seemed to have spoiled the party with a monster putt of his own to tie things up at the penultimate hole, Bourdy put the icing on the cake by rolling in another birdie putt from 30 feet at the last to sign for a round of 67 and an eight under par aggregate total.
Needing to match Bourdy’s closing birdie to force a play-off, Uihlein struck his wedge to 20 feet but his putt rolled agonisingly past the hole, and after missing the return the American finished two strokes adrift of the champion on six under par.
The victory is Bourdy’s first in almost five years, and comes just at the right time as the 31 year old tops The Ryder Cup points list in the opening week of the race for the nine automatic places in Paul McGinley’s European Team.
The Frenchman said: “It was an amazing round. I started great with an eagle on the second, which gave me a lot of confidence for the rest of the round.
“Unfortunately I made two bogeys on 13 and 14, so I knew I needed some birdies and to finish with three in a row was amazing.
“I’m going to remember this finish for a long time. A lot of great moments have taken place here during The Ryder Cup, and I was thinking about that on the 18th hole when I was walking up the fairway. So I’m very proud to win this trophy at Celtic Manor.”
Uihlein was naturally disappointed to have missed out on securing his second European Tour title, but was magnanimous in defeat.
He said: “At the end of the day, I put myself in with a chance with the birdies at 15 and 17. I didn’t expect Grégory to birdie the last three holes. That’s just great golf, so hats off to him.”
Denmark’s Søren Kjeldsen finished in third place on five under par after closing with a best-of-the-day round of 66.
Brett Rumford led the Australians when he finished in a share of 8th but if he was to have a chance of gaining one of Nick Price’s Presidents Cup picks named later this week then he needed something much better. Still, it was a another very good tournament for the West Australian.
276 G Bourdy (Fra) 67 72 70 67,
278 P Uihlein (USA) 69 70 67 72,
279 S Kjeldsen (Den) 69 74 70 66,
281 J Parry (Eng) 71 69 73 68, J Luiten (Ned) 73 68 69 71,
282 G Storm (Eng) 72 67 72 71, D McGrane (Irl) 70 71 70 71,
283 B Rumford (Aus) 72 69 72 70, P McGinley (Irl) 70 69 77 67, M Korhonen (Fin) 71 70 70 72, G Fdez-Castaño (Esp) 70 75 69 69, S Benson (Eng) 76 70 69 68, A Hansen (Den) 71 71 70 71, S Wakefield (Eng) 70 74 70 69,
284 R Cabrera-Bello (Esp) 71 68 71 74, E De La Riva (Esp) 71 70 71 72, R Rock (Eng) 68 73 73 70,