Golfers often have trouble sleeping the night before the final round of a tournament. Adelaide’s Wade Ormsby was concerned about getting any rest after the conclusion of the UBS Hong Kong Open, when the 37-year-old, who has been to qualifying school four times since first getting his European Tour card, finally pulled out a victory in the opening event of the 2017/18 European Tour season.
“It means a lot to me,” said Ormsby after finally winning in his 264th start on tour. “I’ve played a lot of golf in Europe, everywhere, and a few bumps along the way but it’s pretty cool to get a win this late in your career … I probably won’t sleep too much on that flight on the way to Oz tonight.”
Ormsby shot a closing two-under 68 at Hong Kong Golf Club to finish at 11-under 269. His victory came with some help from his fellow competitors. India’s S.S.P. Chawrasia, the 54-hole leader, was four strokes ahead of Ormsby at one point on Sunday only to make a triple-bogey on the ninth hole and bring most of the field back into the event.
After shooting an even-par 34 on the front side, Ormsby birdied three of his next eight holes to take a two-stroke lead. But a three-putt bogey on the par-4 18th looked like Ormsby’s nerves might cost him the outright title. With a chance to force a playoff, however, eventual runners-up Alexander Bjork bogeyed the 18th and Paul Peterson and Julian Suri couldn’t birdie the home hole.
The last pursuer with a chance to catch Ormsby was Rafa Cabrera Bello, who birdied the 17th to match the Australian at 11-under. On the 18th, however, the Spaniard hit his approach shot into a bunker and left himself a 10-foot par putt to match Ormsby, only to miss it right.
It’s the third time in the past four years the Hong Kong Open trophy has fallen into Australian hands, after Scott Hend claimed the title in 2014 and Sam Brazel broke through 12 months ago.
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) November 26, 2017
Among the other notable finishers in the European Tour’s season-opener: Tommy Fleetwood, crowned a week prior as the Race to Dubai champ for 2016/17, closed with a one-under 69 to finish solo sixth; Miguel Angel Jimenez made seven birdies for a final-round 63 to jump into a tie for seventh; and Justin Rose claimed a T-10 showing with a closing 68.