Olesen lands overdue second win at Perth InternationalOctober, 2014
Dane recovers from shaky start to claim first win in two years
Thorbjørn Olesen romped to his second European Tour title at the ISPS HANDA Perth International as a closing 71 gave the Dane a three shot victory over Victor Dubuisson.
The 24 year old, whose previous win came in Sicily two years ago, started the day three clear but saw that advantage reduced to one after a jittery start to the back nine.
But with Dubuisson setting the clubhouse mark at 14 under par, Olesen responded with birdies at the 13th and 15th to restore his advantage and claim the €198,300 prize with a 17 under par total.
The World Number 130, whose performance ensures his participation in the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai at the end of the upcoming Final Series, was wayward off the tee again at the seventh but recovered with a two-putt birdie on the par five to turn in 35.
A shaky start to the back nine saw Olesen miss a ten footer for par at the tenth, and when he missed the green at the 12th and over-hit his second shot it looked like Dubuisson’s closing 66 might be enough to sneak at least a play-off.
But Olesen responded by firing his approach to 15 feet at the 13th and holing the subsequent putt, before converting from similar range at the 15th.
As well as deciding the outcome of the title, today was make-or-break for those chasing a place in the top 111 on The Race to Dubai to earn a card for next season.
The likes of Sihwan Kim and Peter Whiteford had threatened to produce heroics earlier in the week, but Korea’s Kim paid a hefty price for a triple bogey at the eighth and a closing 75 saw him fall short of the runner-up finish required in a tie for ninth. Similarly halfway leader Whiteford, who also needed to be in the top two, endured a difficult weekend with rounds of 75 and 78 to fall short.
In the end England’s Lee Slattery, who missed the cut on Friday, suffered the greatest heartache as he slipped two places to 112th.
Compatriot Matthew Nixon had started the week in the firing line at 111th, but was rewarded for a 12th made cut in 15 events by climbing to 110th, with Anthony Wall taking the final spot.
Scotland’s David Drysdale produced courageous 30 foot birdie at the last to move into a tie for fourth and climb from 116th to 103rd, but Italy’s Andrea Pavan made a gut-wrenching double bogey on the 18th which cost last year’s challenge Tour Number One his card.
“It was tough – they were not easy conditions today,” said Olesen.
“I missed a few short putts today in the middle of the round and I think that the lead got down to one shot, but I was just thinking about getting my round back to under par, keeping focussed, and seeing if I could make a few birdies coming in.
“It was a tough day but it was worth it – that walk down 18 was beautiful.”
“It’s been a couple of years since I won last time, so this gives me a lot of confidence and belief for the last bit of the season, this has been a great week and I’ve really enjoyed being here.”