Bernd Wiesberger might never experience a greater thrill than the one he got at Diamond Country Club in the Lyoness Open. Wiesberger won his second European Tour event of the season, but this victory was much sweeter than his win earlier this year in the Ballantine’s Championship in Korea.
The 26-year-old took the title in his homeland.
Wiesberger returned a final-round, 7-under 65, which included a 6 under final nine holes punctuated by a 30-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole. It gave him three-shot victory over Shane Lowry and France’s Thomas Levet. Fifty-four hole leader Thorbjorn Olesen finished with a 2-over 74 to place 5th.
“It’s the best day of my life so far,” Wiesberger said. “It seems like it went my way.”
The man from Vienna, just an hour away from Diamond Country Club, becomes the second Austrian to win his national Open. Markus Brier first did it in 2006.
“I had such a great country and such great fans backing me, Wiesberger said. “I’m very proud to be following in such big footsteps (as Brier). I’m sure I’m not going to be the last home winner. When José Manuel Lara holed a similar putt to win the tournament two years ago, I always imagined I’d have a putt like that to win here. I actually said that to my caddie walking up the 18th hole, and when it went in, I just couldn’t believe it.”
Olesen won the Sicilian Open earlier this year and impressed in the Open Championship at Royal Lytham, finishing T-9. He began the final round at the Lyoness Open with a three-shot lead and extended it to four shots with a birdie at the third hole. However, he couldn’t extend his lead any further. Ten successive pars were followed by bogeys at Nos. 14, 17 and 18.
Wiesberger becomes the first Austrian to win twice in the same season. He moves to 19th on the European Tour order of merit with €654,984 in earnings.
Wiesberger wasn’t the only one to win on home soil this past weekend. Chris Paisley won the English Challenge at Stoke by Nayland Hotel, Golf and Spa. The 2009 GB&I Walker Cup player returned rounds of 68, 68, 65 and 71 for a 16-under total of 272 to win by two shots over Francis McGuirk.
It was Paisley’s first European Challenge Tour victory and moved him to sixth on the European Challenge Tour Ranking. The former University of Tennessee player needs to finish top 20 on the money list at the end of the year to earn a European Tour card for the 2013 European Tour.