Martin Wiegele (European Tour)
Martin Wiegele sealed an emotional first victory for seven years as he won the KPMG Trophy, dedicating his performance at Royal Waterloo Golf Club to his new-born daughter Lily on Father’s Day in his native Austria and in Belgium.
The 38 year old might have started the week wishing he were playing the Lyoness Open powered by Organic+ as the European Tour visited his home country but that soon faded as he took the fourth European Challenge Tour title of his career.
Trailing by two shots ahead of the final round, Wiegele was flawless throughout, not dropping a shot as he extended his lead to three shots walking down the last, eventually signing for a six under par round of 66 and a 19 under par total, one ahead of Pedro Oriol.
After a long time out of the winner’s circle, in no small part due to injury, Wiegele was quick to mention his six week old daughter as his new-found source of inspiration.
“It’s amazing,” he said. “I had a really bad streak of years for the last four years after my hip surgery, the comeback didn’t go quite how I wanted it to go.
“I’ve made a few changes, I have a new coach, but the biggest change is that I became a dad six weeks ago for the first time, and today is Father’s Day as well, so I’m really, really taken by it.
“It’s a very exciting time in my life and with this victory now, it could not be better at the moment so I’m really happy.
“I came here with a lot of confidence and the most important thing was that I just played my own game all four days – I was not even aware of the scores and circumstances until the last hole, and then I got quite nervous!
“It’s great for my family. My wife has always stuck with me and always told me how much she believes in me, and I totally believed that she meant it for real – it’s good to have someone so trusting in you, it’s so important. The other big thing is Lily, and of course this win is for her.
“I was sad for a moment not to be playing in my home event on the European Tour but it has been good to show the Austrians what they have missed out on – maybe that was an extra motivation for me today!”
Oriol’s eagle on the last secured his runner-up spot, with Mark Flindt Haastrup one shot further back in third place on 17 under par.
Six players shared fourth spot on 16 under par – Steven Brown, David Dixon, Grant Forrest, Birgir Hafthorsson, Kalle Samooja and Joel Sjöholm – with Matthew Cort completing the top ten.
A final round of 64 took Christopher Mivis into a share of 20th place in his home event, the joint-lowest Belgian alongside Kevin Hesbois who was also 11 under par overall.