Austrian Bernd Wiesberger celebrated his birthday weekend in style with a commanding four stroke victory in the ALLIANZ Golf Open du Grand Toulouse, his second Challenge Tour success of the season.
Wiesberger, who turned 25 on Friday, won his second ALLIANZ sponsored event in France with a final round of 68 and a nine under par total of 275, to climb to fifth place on the Challenge Tour Rankings and seal his card for The 2011 European Tour.
As with his win in Lyon in July, the event was promoted by the same company, Halloween, prompting Wiesberger to comment that “the promoter must be my lucky superstition”.
The strong winds of the previous two days were replaced by persistent heavy rain at Golf de Toulouse-Seilh in the Midi Pyreness but Wiesberger didn’t put a foot wrong as he kept home favourite Charles-Edouard Russo at bay, the Frenchman claiming second with a closing 71.
Scot Lloyd Saltman and Swede Joel Sjöholm shared third place four under par 280 after rounds of 69 and 68 respectively but in reality Wiesberger never looked likely to be caught over the last nine holes.
“I really played well today and preferred the rain to the wind,” said Wiesberger. “I shot the best weekend score and to really play steadily over the last few holes when the pressure was on made me very proud.
“Charles and Rob came at me early on but I birdied the third and then the fifth and sixth which were key and helped settle me down. It’s unbelievable.”
It was the fourth Austrian win on the Challenge Tour this year with Wiesberger matching the two wins by Martin Wiegele. Challenge Tour Number One Alvaro Velasco is the only other player to have won twice.
“It’s great for Austrian golf and it will be good having more Austrian golfers on The European Tour next year. My goal was to get in the top ten of the Rankings and I have achieved that and now I have won twice I want to win a third as not many people achieve that. It would be nice to push for that third win.”
Russo closed to within a couple of shots but a mistake midway through the back nine ended his chances. A birdie on the second gave Russo a boost but a mistake on the tenth, when he found water off the tee, set him back. Although he birdied the 11th to close within two, he needed to make up ground on the 14th and 15th but a par and bogey saw him slip further behind.
“I had a good start and putted well,” said Russo. “My chance was on the 14th and 15th but to play them in one over was a big blow. The conditions were very difficult so I am pleased to hang on for second place and the game is getting closer so hopefully I can have another good week in Rome or Egypt to get into the top 20. It’s a good confidence boost.”