Bernd Wiesberger outlasted Benjamin Hebert to win the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open with a par on the third play-off hole
Bernd Wiesberger claimed his first Rolex Series title and second European Tour win of the year at The Renaissance on Sunday, capatilising on his opportunity to beat Benjamin Hebert on the third play-off hole.
Hebert had set the clubhouse target at 22-under with a stunning final-round 62, and a 17th hole bogey led to a 69 for Wiesberger, leaving him in a play-off with the young Frenchman.
Things looked to be going in the favour of Hebert, who had two makeable putts on the first two play-off holes to win, but his putter went cold and it was Wiesberger’s par on the 75th hole that would seal the trophy.
“I knew it was not going to come easy,” said Wiesberger after his win. “I had a great warm up this morning and then it just got a little tough for me.
“I wasn’t hitting the ball as good as the first three days and just dug in there. It was a great week for Ben, he could have snatched it off me on the first two play-off holes but I am so glad how it has turned out.
“I’ve always enjoyed 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 all of last year makes it just a lot sweeter and you appreciate it a lot more.”
Wiesberger, who took seven months off with a wrist injury last year, entered the final day wiith a two-shot lead but a congested leaderboard – with the pace set early by Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston – and a bogey on the second left him in a tie at the top.
The leading group had increased to four when Hebert added to birdies on the first, second, fourth, fifth and seventh with another gain on the tenth, and he led on his own when he holed from six feet at the par five 12th – before an up-and-down at the seventh gave Wiesberger a share of the lead.
From there it was about the two of them. Hebert moved ahead once more on the 13th, and was quickly joined at 21-under-par when Wiesberger birdied the 9th.
Hebert missed his opportunity at the gettable par five 16th but hit a wonderful tee shot to nine feet at the par three next to set the target before Wiesberger caught him again with a tap-in on the 12th.
An 18 foot left to righter on the 16th made Wiesberger a firm favourite but he failed to get up and and down after missing the green on the next, and holed a nervy seven footer on the last to take it to extra holes.
Both men parred the first trip up the 18th before bogeying the next – and it was there that Hebert spurned a real chance at the title.
What followed on the third play-off hole was a three putt from Hebert, which allowed Wiesberger to earn victory from five feet.
For Frenchman Hebert, there is the consolation of a place in the field at next week’s Open Championship alongside England’s Andrew Johnston – who also carded a closing 62 – and Italian Nino Bertasio.