David Law produced an incredible finish to overhaul Wade Ormsby and win his first European Tour title at the ISPS Handa Vic Open.
The Scotsman had called a penalty on himself to surrender a bogey on the ninth after accidentally making his ball move, which left him five shots back at the turn. He was still three shots off the pace as he stood on the 16th tee at 13th Beach Golf Links but he made a birdie there and then produced a stunning second shot to eight feet on the par-five 18th hole to set up an eagle.
That big finish put the 27 year old into a share of the lead with Ormsby at 18 under par and when the home favourite made a double-bogey on the 17th, he needed an eagle of his own on the last to force a play-off. When he could only make a birdie, Challenge Tour graduate Law secured a one-shot victory in just his 18th European Tour appearance.
The win completes a remarkable turnaround on the course for Law, who was on the brink of taking on other work over the winter before winning last season’s SSE Scottish Hydro Challenge hosted by Macdonald Hotels & Resorts and finishing 14th on the Challenge Tour to secure his European Tour card for the 2019 season.
Brad Kennedy finished in a share of second place at 17 under par alongside countryman Ormsby, one shot clear of South Africa’s Justin Harding.
Another Australian in Jason Scrivener made it four top tens from five starts in the 2019 season as he finished at 15 under pr alongside countryman David Bransdon and Scot David Drysdale, with Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts and Frenchman Clément Sordet a further shot back.
In the women’s ISPS Handa Vic Open, which in an innovative week for world golf was also played over the Beach and Creek courses at the Barwon Heads venue for equal prize money, Celine Boutier carded a 72 to claim a two-shot victory.
The Frenchwoman finished at eight under par to hold off local favourites Sarah Kemp and Su Oh, and England’s Charlotte Thomas.
“I never thought it would have happened at the start of today, but I dug in on the back nine. Especially those last three holes, we tried hard to finish really strong. We just knew on 18 that we were in the hunt. Until then it was just try to get in position for a top three, top two finish.
“Standing on the 18th fairway we knew making eagle we would put pressure on. Had a great shot in. It was a nice putt. It was eight feet down the hill, pretty straight. You just needed to get it going. I mean, it was amazing. I kind of thought I pulled it a little bit and it snuck in the left edge. It was a relief to see it drop.
“You know, it’s something completely different this week. I’ve never played a tournament like this before. The fans walk inside the ropes and we play with the women, too. It’s something completely different, something I’ve really enjoyed this week.”
“You’ve got to try to take the positives from it. Disappointed for sure, would have been nice to get one on home soil, but onwards to next week.
“The game feels strong, I probably had a lot of chances to put everyone away early with the putter. It’s not like I putted badly I just burned the edges and they just didn’t drop. The one that stands out is obviously 17, it was just frustrating missing it there. Overall it was there for the taking, I just need to play a little smarter. But apart from one hole all good.”
Final round scores (second cut after round three)
270 D Law (Sco) 67 66 71 66;
271 B Kennedy (Aus) 67 65 72 67; W Ormsby (Aus) 65 66 70 70;
272 J Harding (RSA) 67 71 66 68;
273 D Drysdale (Sco) 66 69 71 67; J Scrivener (Aus) 64 66 76 67; D Bransdon (Aus) 69 69 67 68;
274 C Sordet (Fra) 69 64 74 67; N Colsaerts (Bel) 66 71 68 69;
275 N Flanagan (Aus) 62 68 76 69; C Shinkwin (Eng) 64 73 66 72;
277 A Chesters (Eng) 68 67 73 69; J Felton (Aus) 71 68 68 70; A Karlsson (Swe) 65 69 73 70; A Townsend (Aus) 69 69 68 71; B Windred (am) (Aus) 70 67 69 71;
278 M Fraser (Aus) 70 66 73 69; A Rai (Eng) 67 69 73 69; M Hoey (Nir) 66 68 75 69; P Dunne (Irl) 69 66 70 73; M Stieger (Aus) 71 67 65 75;
279 J Norris (Aus) 66 71 72 70; G Forrest (Sco) 65 69 72 73;
280 T Pilkadaris (Aus) 71 68 70 71; T Aiken (RSA) 69 70 70 71; N Cullen (Aus) 66 67 75 72;
281 G Moynihan (Irl) 67 72 70 72; D Gavins (Eng) 68 68 71 74; J Janewattananond (Tha) 68 70 68 75;
282 M Nixon (Eng) 71 68 70 73; S Jeffress (Aus) 69 69 71 73; D Micheluzzi (am) (Aus) 67 68 74 73;
284 M Griffin (Aus) 65 69 75 75; D Nisbet (Aus) 68 70 70 76;
285 G Ogilvy (Aus) 66 72 71 76;
292 J Anstiss (Nzl) 64 71 74 83;