Bernd Wiesberger shot to the summit of the European Tour’s Race to Dubai after claiming his first Rolex Series title at the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open with a thrilling twilight play-off victory over Benjamin Hebert.
The Austrian, who missed seven months of action last year with a wrist injury, started the final day at The Renaissance Club with a two-shot lead but found himself trailing Hebert after his spellbinding closing 62 had set the clubhouse target at 22 under par.
Wiesberger edged back ahead with two to play but bogeyed the 17th and signed for 69 before a par on the third play-off hole handed him a sixth European Tour title and his second of the season following his victory at the Made in Denmark.
“We just dug in there,” said Wiesberger who jumps to top spot from seventh in the Race to Dubai rankings after collecting 1,165 Race to Dubai points.
“I would have loved to seal it off with a couple of pars coming in but sometimes it just tests you. I’m very grateful for how it turned out.
“I’ve always enjoy coming to the links, Scottish links, and I’ve had nice success here in Scotland and it’s just really, really nice to be able to stand here with the trophy at the end of the day. It was a long day but somehow, I managed.
“Being in places where you have no control over what is going to happen next like all of last year makes it a lot sweeter and you appreciate it a lot more.”
Despite missing out on a maiden European Tour victory, Hebert had the consolation of sealing a place in this week’s Open Championship alongside England’s Andrew Johnston, who also carded a closing 62, and Italian Nino Bertasio.
The Frenchman also makes significant strides in the Race to Dubai rankings, jumping up to ninth from 45th which all but seals a debut outing at the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, the eighth and final Rolex Series event of the season.
Meanwhile, Romain Langasque, who sealed his European Tour playing privileges at Qualifying School at the end of last year, secured third place after finishing two shots behind the top two. The Frenchman moves up to 13th from 30th in the rankings.
Two-time DP World Tour Championship winner Henrik Stenson, Andrea Pavan, Andrew Putnam, Bertasio and Johnston finished a shot further back to share fourth place in Scotland.
Pavan jumps up to 29th from 41st, Stenson moves up 21 places from 59th to 38th while Bertasio and Johnston edge closer to the Race to Dubai’s top 50.
The top 50 players in the Race to Dubai rankings will contest the season-ending $8million DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai from November 21-24 where $3 million will be up for grabs for the winner, making it the richest prize in world tournament golf.
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