Friday, 19 March 2010

India's Jeev Milkha Singh thanked the golfing Gods after emulating European Ryder Cup Captain Nick Faldo’s final round of 18 consecutive pars at the 1987 Open Championship to win the Bank Austria GolfOpen presented by Telekom Austria.

Singh posted a closing 71 for a three round winning total of 15 under par total of 198 at the weather affected event to win by a stroke from England's Simon Wakefield with another Englishman, Iain Pyman, and the Swedish trio Martin Erlandsson, Pelle Edberg and Michael Jonzon joining Australian Peter Fowler in a share of third place on 12 under.

Singh began the day with a four shot lead and although he was never less than two ahead until the final hole, needed to survive a few nervous moments to claim the first prize of €216,660 and his third European Tour title after two second places earlier this season.

"I feel very fortunate to win with 18 pars," said Singh, who added the Bank Austria GolfOpen presented by Telekom Austria to his 2006 Volvo Masters and Volvo China Open titles and moves to ninith position on The European Tour Order of Merit with €731,692.

"Shooting even par on the last day it's tough to win and Simon put up a great fight. I think the golfing Gods were looking out for me. They did not want a play-off with the bad weather forecast! I didn't hit my last putt hard enough but it caught the edge of the hole and went in.

"I had no idea about matching Nick Faldo. I was trying to make birdies but they just weren't going in. When you have a lead you don't want to be too aggressive or too defensive, you just play 'mediocre' golf and hit fairways and greens.

"It's great to win, it's always a feather in your cap. I've knocked on the door a few times this season and at last the door has opened for me. I'm pretty excited about that."

Runner up Wakefield is still seeking his first tour title but was delighted to claim outright second with a late charge.

"The game plan was to just go out and not doing anything stupid to take me out of the tournament early on," said Wakefield. "But then after the 12th I just changed gear, tried to be a bit more aggressive and it paid off.

"It's fantastic. My season has not been sparkling so far but the last few weeks I could see some form there. With my wife Denise and little girl Lucy watching at home on TV I'm glad I put a good show on for them.

"Jeev won in China (in 2006) when I finished fourth, he always seems to beat me by a couple but hopefully in the next few years I can get my revenge!"

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1SINGH, Jeev MilkhaIND18-15
2WAKEFIELD, SimonENG18-14
T3FOWLER, PeterAUS18-12
T3EDBERG, PelleSWE18-12
T3PYMAN, IainENG18-12
T3JONZON, MichaelSWE18-12
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