(Reuters) - Austrian Bernd Wiesberger survived Tommy Fleetwood’s spectacular late assault and pipped the Englishman in a dramatic playoff to win the Shenzhen International on Sunday.
Wiesberger, who started with a three-stroke lead over the field, shot a one-under par 71 to aggregate 16-under and join Fleetwood who came up with the lowest round of the week, carding seven birdies and an eagle for a spotless 63.
“Tommy has had a great day today and I‘m just grateful to make that one shot when I needed to,” Wiesberger said after lifting his fourth European title.
”I just wanted to get off to a good start and show them that I‘m up for it and I did, scrapped around a little bit, had a couple of near misses with good looks at it early on.
“It could have gotten to me but I stayed calm, played on decently,” said Wiesberger who displayed nerves of steel to save par on the 17th hole after landing in the water.
He took a gamble with his line on the 18th and narrowly avoided ending up in the water a second time, before making a good approach shot to allow him to two-putt his way to par and force the playoff.
The 31-year-old teed off on the same line over the water in the playoff on the 18th hole and played a stunning second shot to end up five feet from the hole, while Fleetwood took the safer option of playing onto the fairway and finished with a par.
Wiesberger kept his cool to roll in the clutch putt for a birdie to seal victory as rain poured down at the Genzon Golf Club.
Ross Fisher looked on course for a spot in the playoff going into the final hole, but a bogey on the 18th saw the Englishman finish tied in third place with France’s Gregory Bourdy.
South Africa’s George Coetzee also shared the lead after birdies on the 16th and 17th but twice he found water to finish in 11th place.
Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; editing by Amlan Chakraborty