Austrian Wiesberger dominates at French Open

Austrian Bernd Wiesberger captured his third European Tour title with a commanding performance in the Alstom Open de France.

Three behind overnight leader Jaco Van Zyl at the start of the day, Wiesberger started quickly before lightning briefly delayed the final round.

Bernd Wiesberger Bernd Wiesberger (Credit: www.golffile.ie)

The 29-year old Austrian made four birdies in succession from the fourth, before nearly holing his approach to the ninth and tapping in for another gain to turn in 31.

With the chasing pack unable to reel him in over Le Golf National’s tough back nine, eight straight pars kept Wiesberger in control before he finished in style with a birdie from 15 feet on the last.

That gave him a closing round of 65, a 13-under total and a three-stroke winning margin over James Morrison.

It also provided a first visit to the winner’s circle since capturing two titles in 2012, and with a €500,000 cheque for first place the biggest pay day of his European Tour career.

“It’s been a great first half of the year for me so far,” he said. “I’ve had a lot of great success but just couldn’t pull it quite off. To stand here with the trophy right now, it’s pretty sweet.”

“This tournament is very special to me. It’s one of the biggest events we have on Tour every year and probably the most traditional, the oldest one on Continental Europe.”

“I’m very proud to be on the winner’s list now, on this trophy dating back to 1906 it says here. It’s amazing and it was a great week.”

Morrison, the Open de España champion, could not keep up with his playing partner although a bold birdie at the 16th set up a tense conclusion.

A final round 67 gave him outright second on 10-under and one of three places in The Open Championship at St Andrews in two weeks’ time.

“My game is improving every day; I’m doing all the right things,” said the 30-year-old Morrison.

“Bernd played too perfectly today. He won the golf tournament, it’s as simple as that. He played fantastic.”

Van Zyl and Rafa Cabrera-Bello claimed the other spots at St Andrews after finishing third and fifth respectively.

Marcus Fraser was the best of the Australians, completing the championship in a tie for 15th ahead of Jason Scrivener (T33rd) and Scott Hend (T57th).