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Ballantine’s Championship @ Blackstone GC Seoul South Korea, Wiesberger Wins

Bernd Wiesberger  (Getty Images)

Bernd Wiesberger (Getty Images

Bernd Wiesberger won the Ballantine’s Classic at the  Blackstone GC in Icheon,  Seoul, South Korea on Sunday to record his first European Tour victory.  Bernd cruised through a bogey free last round of -4  under par 68 and a winning tournament total of -18 under par, to give him a deserved five shot victory. It was a majestic tournament from Bernd with rounds of  72, 65, 65, 68.

Richie Ramsay finished alone in second spot after a final round -7 under par 65, and a tournament total of -13. Tied in third place was Victor Dubuisson, and Marcus Fraser. Victor had a last round of -6 under par 66 to give him a total of -11 under par for the tournament. Marcus finished on the same score after a disappointing final round of -2 under par 70. He had been hoping to put some pressure on Bernd at the start of play but the Austrian cruised along while he struggled.

Miguel Angel Jimenez,  and Anthony Wall finished the tournament with a total of -10 under par and tied for fourth  spot.

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Ballantine’s Championship, Bernd Wiesberger in control @ Blackstone GC, Seoul

Wonderful Wiesberger races clear

Bernd Wiesberger (Getty Images)

The Ballantine’s Championship is just about done and dusted, Bernd Wiesberger is in full control after the third round after shooting another -7 under par round of  65 to lead the tournament at the Blackstone GC,  in Seoul, South Korea. Bernd’s magnificent lead is five shots, and total score of -14 under par.

Bernd, who won twice on The Challenge Tour in 2010 and was a runner-up twice on The European Tour last year, said of his round;

“I think that’s what we call a great day at the office. It was fun out there. It was nice conditions again like yesterday, and really nice set up for the course. I enjoyed myself out there, made a lot of putts and that was the key to another perfect day. Out there on the greens I really felt like I saw the lines perfectly today and I putted the ball nicely.,

“It feels like I’m getting into position more often, and played well when I was in those positions in the last half of the year last year. It was a good preparation the last two years, and I hope it pays off tomorrow.”

In second place is Marcus Fraser, the 2010 champion, with a third round score of -3 under par 69 for a tournament total of  -9 under par. Bernd would need to fall over badly tomorrow to not win this trophy. Marcus was realistic in assessing his chances tomorrow;

“I felt really comfortable out there, hit a lot of good shots inside 20 feet, and just couldn’t get anything going. I hit putts where I was wanting to hit them, but they just weren’t taking the break. I felt like I was playing chase out there most of the day and trying to keep up. Bernd is playing great , so much game and definitely a star of The European Tour to come. He’s obviously a great player now but he’s got big things in front of him, that’s for sure. It reflects the way he’s playing. He played great here and gives himself a chance on every hole and he’s a great putter, as well. If I was a betting man, I would put the house on him. He’s just played so well and looks very comfortable.”

Everyone else is really fighting for second place, Marcus Fraser is the player closest to the man in form, but five shots over one round is a huge mountain to climb, not impossible in golf, but very unlikely.

Oliver Fisher and Felipe Aguilar are another shot back with a tournament score of -8 under par, but have no realistic chance of catching Bernd.

Ballantine’s Championship, Blackstone GC Seoul South Korea

Bernd Wiesberger  (Getty Images)

Bernd Wiesberger (Getty Images)

The Ballantine’s Championship from Blackstone GC, in Seoul South Korea was all change at the top in the second round.

Clubhouse leader is Bernd Wiesberger who carded a brilliant bogey free -7  under par 65 in the second round for a tournament total    of  -7 under par. He said in interview;

“Today I couldn’t really do anything wrong really. It felt like everything was going in the right direction. I’m just trying to hit a lot of greens and try and hit on the right spots, which is important here. It’s a tricky golf course when you hit into the wrong places.”

In second spot is Australian Marcus Fraser, who won this title on Jeju Island in 2010, he shot  a five under par 67 to move to six under at the halfway stage of the tournament. The two-time European Tour winner commented on the better golfing conditions today;

“Obviously yesterday was very windy, pretty tricky for everybody. And then today was completely different. We basically had no wind for most of the day and then it kicked up a little bit over the last maybe five, six holes. But overall, I’m very happy and very pleased with the way it’s going at the moment.”

He then joked about why he always plays well at the Ballantine’s Championship;

 “It’s obviously just the alcohol, I can’t really survive without it. It’s obviously one of our premiere events now on The European Tour, and Ballantine’s have been such a great sponsor and product. We have a great venue this year, same course as last year, and I think the brand, Ballantine’s, suits very well with the exclusive club, and it’s just a great week and somewhere I love coming back.”

Ryder Cup star Miguel Angel Jiménez, England’s Anthony Wall and Chile’s Felipe Aguilar were all in the clubhouse on four under.

Yesterdays first round leaders all fell away today, including Paul Casey who could only manage a par round of 72 in the second round and is now five shots off the pace. Ian Poulter enjoyed a good round of -5 under par, and is also -2 for the tournament. Adam Scott the highest ranked player in the field struggled to make the cut, shooting a +3 over par 75, to actually make the cut with a total of +2 for the tournament.

Victor Dubuisson leads Ballantines Championship in Seoul

Dubuisson stars in Korea

Victor Dubuisson (Getty Images

Victor Dubuisson leads the Ballantine’s Championship at Blackstone G.C. Seoul in South Korea. Play was suspended due to darkness and will resume tomorrow morning. None of the players still waiting to conclude their rounds can affect the top of the leaderboard standings. Victor had a good first round of -4 under par 68 and leads by two shots from Richie Ramsay, Mark Foster, Paul Casey, Jamie Donaldson and Ji-ho Jung.  All of these chasers had rounds of -2 under par for 70.

Victor was certainly very happy with his opening round, and looking for his first Europen Tour win;

“Very pleased with playing four under today.  My putting was really, really good today and I think it’s the only way to achieve good scoring in these conditions.  On the third hole the wind was from the left, and so on the fourth tee I thought the wind was going to be sort of left to right, but the wind was turning all the time.  The wind just turned right to left and it went into the water. So I was not really upset after this double bogey because I didn’t hit a bad shot.  I did my best to get back my concentration, and I made two birdies, good putts on five and six, and that was the good turn today.”

Only Victor and  England’s Paul Casey played in the more blustery afternoon conditions, of those at the top pf the board. Jamie Donaldson, Mark Foster, Jung Ji-ho and Richie Ramsay all took advantage of more benign morning conditions to move into contention.

Paul Casey knows he has the ability to contend here in Korea, in his quest to return to form after his snowboarding accident;

“I know if I play the golf I’m capable of, I’ve got a very good chance to win. The way I played today, I need to keep that form going, because there’s a long way to go.”

Jamie Donaldson rued bogeying the easiest hole on the course;

“I played nicely. It is tricky. I made a lot of good up and downs but overall a pretty tough day.  You’ve just got to put it in position off the tees and see where it falls. One of the easiest holes was 18, and I bogeyed. You have to play well and put it in position.”

Richie Ramsay said it was a tough day, even though he played in the quieter part of the day;

“I putted beautifully. The greens are really, really nice. It still is tricky because you get gusts of wind.  When I made a mistake, I got up and down and I managed to convert a few opportunities. All in all it was a good day, but it was really getting tough out there. There’s lots of positives from it, and I drove the ball well. But ultimately, I putted nicely, which is great to see and long may it continue.”

Mark Foster also commented on the wind;

“I’ve not seen any scores, but the wind is wicked. It is just all over. It’s not the strength of the wind, it’s funneling, and you just hit it out there and hope it does what you want. Ball flight is everything, really.”

Ji-ho Jung said of his round;

“My iron shots went very well. I had one bogey and three birdies, and the one bogey came from a three putt, so overall I thought the game went very well.”

Highest ranked player in the field, World Number 12 Adam Scott was with the bunch that included Ryder Cup stars Paul McGinley and Ross Fisher, they all finished  in 71 as just 17 players finished under par.

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