Wiegele wins in France

6/20/2010 3:51:16 PM
Martin Wiegele   (Getty Images)
Martin Wiegele (Getty Images)

Martin Wiegele became only the second Austrian to win a European Tour event with a two shot victory at the Saint-Omer Open presented by Neuflize OBC.

The Austrian, a winner on home soil two weeks ago on The Challenge Tour, shot a three under par 68 to finish with a seven under par total 277.

That was two better than a group of five players tied for second - Sweden's Pelle Edberg, France's Raphaël Jacquelin and the English trio of Matt Haines, Robert Dinwiddie and Jamie Elson all finishing five under.

Wiegele birdied his first two holes at Aa Saint Omer, and another gain at the ninth took him to the turn in 33 without dropping a shot.

His back nine featured just one birdie and a bogey at the last, but it still proved more than enough for the 31 year old.

“This victory is just incredible – it’s what I’ve always dreamt of since I started playing golf as a little boy,” said Wiegele.

“It was great to get off to such a good start this morning, especially after the double bogey on the last hole yesterday.

“It brought me right back into contention straight away, and gave me a lot of confidence – especially as it’s not an easy start. After that I played really nicely, apart from the bogey on the last hole – but luckily enough it didn’t matter in the end.” 

After winning the Kärnten Golf Open by Markus Brier Foundation, Wiegele's first win on The European Tour sees him become the second Austrian after Brier to achieve such a feat.

Not only does it secure a €100,000 winner's cheque, but also an exemption on The European Tour until the end of 2011.

“In Austria golf is not that big a sport, so it means even more because we haven’t had that much success,” he added. “Markus Brier changed everything when he won on The European Tour, so to follow him is fantastic.

“The win back home on the Challenge Tour two weeks ago was so emotional, but if anything this is even more so. It’s a strange game – I haven’t won since 2007, and now I win two tournaments back to back! I chose to take last week off, and it looks like a good decision now. I’m just so happy, and hopefully all my friends and family are happy for me too.” 

Edberg's 67 was joint best of the day as the player famed for his headbands carded seven birdies with three dropped shots.

Overnight leader Elson was right in the hunt at nine under after 11 holes, but a run of four bogeys in his last seven holes ended his chances.

“I played well, I’m just gutted to have dropped four shots on the last seven holes,” admitted Elson.

“I’m not going to lie – I was nervous, and that showed in my short putting. It’s difficult enough in the wind, but my nerves didn’t help.

“I haven’t been in this position for as while, and I think it showed. But to be in the position I was after 11 holes was pleasing, so I’ve got to be taking the positives from that. Hopefully next time I get in this position I’ll be able to finish it off.”

In complete contrast, Dinwiddie got off to a dreadful start, dropping four shots in his first three holes and turning in 40 before recovering on the back nine to come home in 32.

“It was a great comeback – I’m delighted to finish tied second,” said Dinwiddie, whose performance cements his place at the top of The Challenge Tour rankings.

“I got off to a horrible start, with a bogey on the first, a missed putt from two feet on the second then a three putt on the third. After that I tried to make some birdies to get back in contention, and that’s what I did.

“I’m a bit disappointed not to have won or at least given myself a better chance, but I’m sure there’ll be other days.”

Haines, only a professional for three months, impressed with a closing 69 while Jacquelin - the highest-ranked player in the field - went round in 72.