Made in HimmerLand
A first in this European Tour event is just what Bernd Wiesberger needed to jumpstart his Ryder Cup chances
Bernd Wiesberger celebrates after holing the winning putt to repeat as the winner of the European Tour's Made in HimmerLand.
It was over fairly early for Bernd Wiesberger, which made for a less than thrilling finish to the European Tour’s Made in HimmerLand tournament but no less satisfying a result for the 35-year-old Austrian. Wiesberger started the round with a one-stroke lead, but with seven birdies in an 11-hole stretch at the HimmerLand course in Farse, Denmark, he cruised to a five-stroke wire-to-wire victory over Italy's Guido Migliozzi by posting a closing 64 for a 21-under 263.
Without the drama, Wiesberger could enjoy the moment and appreciate its meaning. This was his eighth career title on the European Tour but his first since a five-month stretch in 2019 in which Wiesberger won three times, including this tournament, thus allowed him to become the first golfer to “repeat” as champion in the event, the 2020 edition canceled by COVID.
“I’ve said it all week, I really like it here,” Wiesberger said. “I enjoy playing here. It’s good for my confidence especially after a couple tougher weeks. It’s a special place for me. I play really good golf. Brings out the best in me. I really got it going when I needed to.”
Since the PGA and European Tours COVID restarts last summer, Wiesberger could rightly describe his game as being solid but not nearly as sharp as it had been when reached No. 22 in the World Ranking. He hadn’t had a top-30 finish since Dubai in February and after missing the cut last week at the PGA Championship, he’d fallen to 65th.
The timing of the slide proved less than ideal for a man hoping to validate his career—only Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson have won more European Tour titles since 2012—with an appearance in the Ryder Cup. While still on the outside looking in for an automatic qualifying spot—he jumped to within two spots of qualifying via the European Tour points list (sixth overall)—Wiesberger hopes this can be a springboard for more success.
“A lot of golf to be played,” he said regarding making the Ryder Cup team. “First of all, I really wanted to have a good week and start playing better golf again. I wasn’t too far off. This week really clicked for me.”
“I’ve got to keep playing good golf. I’d like to put my name in the vicinity of one of those spots.”
As he had for the first three rounds, Wiesberger motored past the field with his stellar play on the back nine at HimmerLand. For the week he made 16 birdes and two bogeys on the inward holes compared to playing the front nine in seven under.
In the short term, the victory should seal up a spot in next month’s U.S. Open for Wiesberger, who by falling out of the top 60 in the World Ranking was still looking for a way to qualify. He’ll easily move inside the top 60 with the win (if he's inside that number by June 7, he receives an exemption), plus he’s also all but locked up an exemption in a special three-event European qualifying series that included the British Masters, the Made in HimmerLand and the upcoming Porsche European Open.
And in the even more short term, Wiesberger’s win becomes a birthday gift for his parents, his father celebrating his 60th on Friday and his mother enjoying her birthday on Sunday. “She won’t let me say what her number is,” Wiesberger joked. “We’ll keep that to ourselves.”