What a difference a year makes for Wiesberger

Bernd Wiesberger spent last season's DP World Tour Championship, Dubai on the range preparing to make his comeback after seven months out of golf with a wrist injury.

Bernd Wiesberger

This year he tees it up at Jumeirah Golf Estates looking for a fourth victory of the season, a third Rolex Series title and the biggest prize of them all - the Race to Dubai.

After the Volvo China Open in April 2018, Wiesberger did not play competitively until the second event of the 2019 Race to Dubai at the Afrasia Bank Mauritius Open at Anahita due to his injury.

He missed six of his first 12 cuts on his return with no top tens before claiming his fifth European Tour victory at the Made in Denmark presented by FREJA and lighting the flame under what will be a career best season regardless of the outcome on Sunday.

He claimed Rolex Series victories at the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open and Italian Open and heads into the season finale knowing that a win or a finish of outright second will see him become the first Austrian to be crowned Europe's Number One, with only four players in the 50 man field able to deny him.

Bernd Wiesberger

And he admits that his enforced absence from the game has given him a new perspective.

"I wasn't in a life threatening situation," he said. "I had a minor injury in my wrist that is not ideal for a golf professional and it set me back for a couple of months not playing golf and doing what I love doing and competing.

"I was able to do a lot of different other things that you don't have time for as a golf professional. I spent a lot more time with friends, family and that was nice, it kept me hungry to come out here again and enjoy the times we are up there on the leaderboard.

"It was good getting into new perspective on everything. I was able to make a couple of changes which worked out nicely as well. Therefore it's even more pleasing to sit here now in the position and enjoy this last week of the year and try to do our best, just as we've done the whole year.

Bernd Wiesberger

"I wanted to come back at a point where I felt I was ready to play competitive golf but if you don't have a scorecard in hand and play without a competitor, it's different. I'd played really well in preparation here in Dubai just the week before Mauritius.

"Once you go on the golf course it's a little different. You need to get that competitive edge back and hit the right shot at the right time. It wasn't quite there yet early in the year and I needed to get comfortable in those situations again. It took a while.

"I came to Denmark then in May and kind of all parts of my game clicked. I got some good breaks every now and then, like at the Sunday as well, and we really did well after that."

Wiesberger insists he is not thinking about the permutations that could keep him ahead of Tommy Fleetwood, Jon Rahm, Shane Lowry and Matthew Fitzpatrick in the Race to Dubai Rankings Presented by Rolex, but he will be honoured if he finishes top of the pile on Sunday.

Bernd Wiesberger

"We haven't had an Austrian winner of the Race to Dubai or the overall ranking at any point," he said. 

"Personally it would be obviously a huge achievement for me. Something that growing up watching European Tour golf and watching legends like Seve, Olazábal, Colin Montgomerie - who won so many times in a row at the time when I started getting into golf - something that looked a long distance away but is obviously much closer now.

"So we are looking forward to these next four days and are going to give it everything we have and hopefully if we count up all the points at the end of Sunday we're still up there and it would be amazing."

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