Australian journeyman claims first European Tour title after 264 starts
Golfers often have trouble sleeping the night before the final round of a tournament. Wade Ormsby was concerned about getting any rest after the conclusion of the UBS Hong Kong Open, when the 37-year-old Australian who has been to Q school four times since first getting his European Tour card, finally pulled out a victory in the opening event of the 2017-’18 season.
“It means a lot to me,” said Ormsby after finally winning in his 264th Euro Tour start. “I’ve played a lot of golf in Europe, everywhere, and a few bumps along the way but it's pretty cool to get a win this late in your career. … I probably won't sleep too much on that flight on the way to Oz tonight.”
Ormsby shot a closing two-under 68 at Hong Kong Golf Club to finish at 11-under 269. His victory came with some help from his fellow competitors. India’s S.S.P. Chawrasia, the 54-hole leader was four strokes ahead of Ormsby at one point on Sunday only to make a triple bogey on the ninth hole and bring most of the field back into the event.
After shooting an even-par 34 on the front side, Ormsby birdied three of his next eight holes to take a two-stroke lead. But a three-putt bogey on the par-4 18th looked like Ormsby’s nerves might cost him the outright title. With a chance to force a playoff, however, eventual runners-up Alexander Bjork bogeyed the 18th and Paul Peterson and Julian Suri couldn’t birdie the home hole.
The last pursuer with a chance to catch Ormsby was Rafa Cabrera Bello, who birdied the 17th to match the Aussie at 11 under. On the 18th, however, the Spaniard hit his approach shot into a bunker and left himself a 10-foot par putt to match Ormsby, only to miss it right.
Among the other notable finishers in the European Tour’s season-opener: Tommy Fleetwood, crowned a week prior as the Race to Dubai champ for 2016-’17, closed with a one-under 69 to finish solo sixth; Miguel Angel Jimenez made seven birdies for a final-round 63 to jump into a tie for seventh; and Justin Rose claimed a T-10 showing with a closing 68.