Scotland's David Law Claims Maiden European Tour Victory in Australia
SCOTLAND’S David Law transformed his career when he eagled the 72nd hole to win the ISPS Handa Vic Open, overcoming a three-shot deficit in the final three holes to earn a cheque for £150,000, and a life-changing two-year exemption on the European Tour.
Law birdied the 16th hole and then holed an eight-foot putt at the last and signed for a round of 66 and a winning total of 18 under par. Overnight leader Wade Ormsby, who began the day as a warm favourite to take the title, suffered a double-bogey on the 17th and then missed an eagle putt of his own at the 18th as he failed to force a playoff. Celine Boutier, of France, won the women’s event that ran side by side with the men’s tournament. She won by two shots from three players, including England’s Charlotte Thomas. The unique tournament is co-sanctioned the the European Tour and the LGPA, with men and women playing on the same course at the same time for equal prize money. Boutier recorded a final round of 72 to hold off Sarah Kemp and Su Oh, of Australia, while Thomas closed with a 69. Kim Kaufman, the 54-hole leader, slumped to a 78.
In the men’s tournament, Ormsby, 38, seemed to be cruising to victory until he came to the par-three 17th, where he hit a poor tee shot and took five.
What a day ???? can’t thank my sponsors and everyone who has supported me enough pic.twitter.com/8LYP6zF5JZ— David Law (@DavidLawGolf) February 10, 2019
Law was in a state of shock afterwards. The Scot came qualified for the European Tour via the Challenge Tour and realised that this win has changed his life. “To have achieved this sort of changes things a bit for me,” he said. “It’s massive for me. It is not something that I expected to happen. For me, just being out here playing on the European Tour was enough. I have loved the four events that I have played so far and to just be a European Tour player was what I was happy with. I will now go home and reflect a little bit on what has happened and then reassess my priorities.
“I said that I was going to try for a three-two-four finish. I birdied the 16th and parred the 17th and going down the last hole I knew that I needed to make an eagle. We did that, posted an 18 under par total and then you just never know what is going to happen.”
Law and his partner, Natasha, suffered a tragedy two years ago when their son, Freddie, was stillborn. It rather put his problems on the course at the time in perspective. He had been on the verge of walking away from golf and looking for other work until he won the SSE Scottish Hydro Challenge on the Challenge Tour last season. It helped him to finish 14th on the Challenge Tour, which was good enough to earn him his place on the European Tour.
Brad Kennedy, of Australia, finished on 17 under alongside Ormsby, one shot clear of South Africa’s Justin Harding. Scotland’s David Drysdale and Australian Jason Scrivener and David Brandson finished a shot further adrift.
Eagle for your first Tour win?— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) February 10, 2019
Step forward, David Law ???? pic.twitter.com/p1okVfBCff
Law had made his first birdie of the day at the fourth but gave it straight back at the next. He then birdied the seventh and eighth holes before calling a penalty on himself after accidentally causing his ball to move on the ninth. But he bounced straight back with birdies at the 10th and 11th holes before that extraordinary finish.
Ormsby struggled to find many positives. “I am gutted. I am disappointed, for sure, but what can I say? It would have been great to win on home soil. My game feels strong. I had a lot of chances to put everyone away early on with the putter. It’s not like I putted poorly, but they just didn’t drop for me today. Obviously on the 17th it was kid of frustrating but that’s the way it goes sometimes,” he said.
Kennedy was delighted to have come so close. “I gave myself some great opportunities,” he said. “It was nice to be in the mix at home. I only get a chance to play four or five events at home so it was nice to be at home and do well. The crowds were just great so it was nice to play some good golf in front of them."
For Law, it was also validation for his switch to Wilson Golf, having won just 79 days after signing a multi-year contract. The 27-year-old was playing a mix of Wilson Staff FG Tour V6 and C300 irons (4-PW), a FG Tour V4 utility 3-iron and a 52° PMP RAW wedge on the links-style 13th Beach Golf Club course.
“David’s stunning victory in Australia so early in his rookie season validates the strategy Wilson has followed in recent times to support the most promising players, as well as established European Tour stars, said Doug Wright, Global Commercial Director of Wilson Golf. “Now he ranks alongside Paul Waring and Joakim Lagergren, who both won their first European Tour titles with Wilson Staff clubs last year,” he added.
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