Ormsby Picks up First Victory in 264 Attempts in Hong Kong
WADE ORMSBY took advantage of a dramatic collapse by SSP Chawrasia to win the UBS Hong Kong Open and secure his playing rights until 2020 – just weeks after a fifth-place finish at the Andalucia Masters secured his card for the new season.
It was the Australian’s first victory on the European Tour in 264 attempts. He first played on the European Tour in 2004 after coming through qualifying school and has had to return there four times since during a career that has been blighted by injury.
Ormsby began the final round a shot behind Chawrasia and when he turned in level-par 34, he was four behind his Indian rival. But when Chawrasia stumbled to a triple bogey at the ninth it brough a host of players back into contention. When he reached the final hole, Ormsby found himself two ahead.
Playing in the group behind, Rafa Cabrera Bello birdied the 17th to pile on the pressure and when the Australian three-putted the last hole it meant the pair were tied at 11 under and a playoff appeared to be on the cards. But Cabrera Bello put his second shot into a greenside bunker and when failed to get up and down, the title was Ormsby's
Alexander Björk, Paul Peterson and Julian Suri finished alongside Cabrera Bello at 10 under, a shot clear of Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood who got the defence of his title off to a good start.
"It means a lot to me," said Ormsby, fighting back the tears. "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. A few of my mates over there so that makes it pretty special, having mates around makes it all the more special. I probably won't sleep too much on that flight on the way to Oz tonight."
For Cabrera Bello it was a second near-miss at this event. Last year, Sam Brazel birdied the 18th to pip him.
Ormsby birdied the third and bogeyed the fifth on the front nine but Chawrasia, who had led since day one, looked to be in complete control despite missing a host of chances while also making gains on the second, third and eighth. His triple-bogey changed everything, however, and all of a sudden Swede Bjork was leading after turning in 30 with five birdies and a bogey.
Ormsby was two behind at that point but birdied the 10th and 14th to share the lead with Bjork and Suri, who had made five birdies. The American dropped out of the lead when he failed to get up and down from a bunker on the 17th and after missing from seven feet on the 16th, Ormsby put his approach to the next to five feet to hit the front and set up the dramatic finale.
The birdie of his life ???? pic.twitter.com/3QAbF4bIAg— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) November 27, 2017
Cabrera Bello was one over for his round at the turn but birded the 11th and 13th, while America's Peterson birdied the fifth, 10th and 13th. Fleetwood had 17 pars and a single bogey on the 17th in his round to sit a shot ahead of four-time winner at this event Miguel Ángel Jimenez who defied the years once again with a 63.
The 53 year old became the oldest winner in European Tour history here in the first staging of the 2014 season - a record he would break again the next season - and he continued to roll back the years. The Spaniard birdied the second, fourth, fifth, sixth, 10th, 16th and 17th to finish alongside Chawrasia and American Micah Lauren Shin at eight under.
CAMERON DAVIS produced a final round of 64 to win the Australian Open in Sydney after former world number one Jason Day threw the title away when he frittered shots away in the middle of the round. Day had been imperious for three days and went into the last round leading the field and seemingly in complete control.
Davis turned things around when he holed his second shot for an eagle at the 12th and finished in style with an eight-foot birdie putt at the last – his sixth birdie of the day.
With five leading groups still on the course when he signed for his 11-under 273, Davis did not expect to finish the day with the Stonehaven Cup in his hands and a place in the field at next year’s Open at Carnoustie. “I‘m a little bit numb at the moment, I just didn’t expect to be in this situation,” said Davis, 22.
“Even though I had a great round, I didn’t think I was going to be far enough up the leaderboard. When I finished my round and had a look where everyone was, I was a bit surprised.”
Matt Jones, the 2015 champion, shared second with Swede Jonas Blixt after both shot 68s in a dramatic final round.
Cameron Smith also shot a 68 to finish fourth on nine-under but none of them was able to mount a challenge to knock Davis off the lead as the Sydney crosswinds wrought their customary havoc.
Former world number one Day started the day with a one-stroke lead but found the water at the ninth and it cost him a double-bogey. Two more dropped shots at the 11th and 13th ended his hopes of winning his home Open for the first time to end his 2017 title drought and he finished fifth on eight-under.
“I just didn’t play my best and obviously it’s not great to shoot two-over par on the final round when you’ve got the lead,” Day said.
American Jordan Spieth ended his title defence with an eagle at the 18th but his closing 67 was not enough to bridge the gap to the leaders and he ended up eighth on six-under.
“It was a great finish, it was nice,” said the world number two. “I felt like I hit a lot of really beautiful shots that weren’t necessarily rewarded today based on just trying to judge the crosswinds. I really felt like I shot 62 today and it was 67, I had so many looks.”
Davis, a former Australian Open amateur champion, who turned professional last year, shot a 63 to lead after the opening round but followed it with rounds of 72 and 74. “This is a dream come true,” he said. “I‘m going to remember this forever.”
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