Sunday, 23 April 2017
Bernd Wiesberger  (Getty Images)
Bernd Wiesberger (Getty Images)

Bernd Wiesberger beat Tommy Fleetwood in a play-off to win the Shenzhen International on a dramatic final day at Genzon Golf Club.

Wiesberger entered round four with a three-shot lead and eight shots ahead of Fleetwood but the Englishman fired a stunning 63 to set the clubhouse target and share top spot at 16 under.

As most of the leading challengers fell back, Wiesberger made excellent par saves on the 12th and 17th and nearly hit the pin with his approach to the last but was forced to settle for a par and a trip back up the 18th in the pouring rain.

Wiesberger took the risky line over the water off the tee and ended up in the bank while Fleetwood played safely onto the fairway and found the heart of the green with his second.

The pressure was now on Wiesberger and he delivered, putting his approach to five feet and rolling in the putt for a birdie and the victory.

The triumph is the culmination of an excellent run of form from Wiesberger, who has not missed a cut since the US PGA Championship, claiming seven top five finishes in that time.

His eighth gives him his fourth win on the European Tour and his first in a play-off after losing the previous three times he had gone to extra holes.

"I'm feeling a bit relieved now I have to say," said Wiesberger. "I've had a stretch of really good events the last couple of months and it's really nice to have a trophy again.

"We have really good players out here, all up for it, playing well and throwing a lot at me. At the end of the day I'm just glad I got myself into the spot where I could play for the title.

I'm feeling a bit relieved now I have to say. I've had a stretch of really good events the last couple of months and it's really nice to have a trophy again - Bernd Wiesberger

"Tommy has had a great day today and I'm just grateful to make that one shot when I needed to.

"I just wanted to get off to a good start and show them that I'm up for it and I did, scrapped around a little bit, had a couple of near misses with good looks at it early on. It could have gotten to me but I stayed calm, played on decently."

Wiesberger put his approach to the par three third to ten feet for a birdie and while he dropped a shot on the testing fifth, he put his approach to the seventh to six feet to get back in red numbers.

Meanwhile, Fleetwood was flying through the field, birdieing the second, sixth and seventh but even when he chipped in to eagle the ninth, he still looked a long shot.

Another birdie followed on the 13th to keep him within touching distance before a hat-trick of gains from the 15th took the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship winner to the top of the leaderboard on a course where he has never shot over par.

"I've played well all week and I was really disappointed, it was stressing me out that I couldn't really get anything in the hole," said Fleetwood.

"Today, just a few putts went in and I kept it going all the way through and it was a good time to shoot a 63.

"As a goal I wanted to be one under for every three holes, that was 66 and if I beat that I thought I'll have a had a good day and a good week."

Wiesberger finished his round with 11 pars but needed to show all his grinding qualities, getting up and down from a plugged lie on the 12th and saving par on the 17th after finding the water off the tee.

England's Ross Fisher finished with a 68 and held a share of the lead stood on the 18th tee but a three-putt bogey saw him fall out of the play-off.

South Africa's George Coetzee also shared the lead after birdieing the 16th and 17th but a disastrous eight on the last after finding the water twice ended his hopes.

Frenchman Grégory Bourdy birdied the 16th and 17th in a 67 to finish alongside Fisher at 15 under, a shot clear of South African Dylan Frittelli, American David Lipsky and Paraguay's Fabrizio Zanotti.

Thai Thongchai Jaidee, Frenchman Alexander Levy and Dane Thorbjørn Olesen were then at 13 under, with Coetzee, Spaniard Pablo Larrazábal and local favourite Lui Yan-Wei a further shot back.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1WIESBERGER, BerndAUT18-16
2FLEETWOOD, TommyENG18-16
T3BOURDY, GrégoryFRA18-15
T3FISHER, RossENG18-15
T5ZANOTTI, FabrizioPAR18-14
T5LIPSKY, DavidUSA18-14

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