Shane Lowry has been bumped back to third on the Race to Dubai standings after Austrian giant, Bernd Wiesberger muscled his way to victory in the Italian Open near Rome.
Wiesberger celebrated last week’s 34th birthday becoming the first triple Tour winner this season thanks to a final round 65 that saw him win by a shot with a 16-under par tally on the Obligata course.
England’s Matt Fitzpatrick had the chance to tie Wiesberger in lipping-out for an eagle on 17 for birdie before then failing to birdie the 72nd hole that would have sent the 76th hosting of the event into a play-off.
Fitzpatrick eventually posted a closing 69 for a 15-under par tally but could look back to a ninth hole double-bogey in missing out on a hopeful sixth Tour success.
Wiesberger, with Darren Clarke’s former caddy, Jamie Lane on the bag, earlier this year superbly came back from a very lengthy 2018 season wrist injury to capture the Made in Denmark and five events later the very affable Austrian landed the biggest win of his 13-year pro career in capturing the Scottish Open.
Now he’s won two Rolex Series events this year while in his seven Tour victories, Wiesberger has now won French, Scottish and Italian Open titles.
He’s also the first Austrian to win the Italian Open after compatriot, Marcus Brier lost out in a play-off for the 2007 title.
“It’s amazing to again win as it’s been a great summer for me as I’ve shown a lot of good golf and shown lovely progress after my injury last year,” Wiesberger.
“So, I am just enjoying my time out there and enjoying getting back into these situations. It has been a tough week here in Italy but I stuck with the job to keep making that one extra putt and that really worked today.”
Wiesberger arrived in the Italian capital third on the Race to Dubai trailing 865 points adrift of front-running Spaniard, Jon Rahm and 502 points behind Lowry in second place
Wiesberger now heads the ‘Race’ with 4198 points with Rahm second with 3898 and Lowry still third but now 663 points adrift of the new Austrian front-runner, that is more than double the gap between he and Rahm.
“It would be amazing to end the year as European No. 1 but then I have played well in a lot of events including the Irish Open, the Scottish Open and here this week that has helped getting up to the top of the Race to Dubai,” added Wiesberger.
“So, it’s really excited what is a ahead in my last four events.”
Graeme McDowell was headed back to his Florida residence after a disappointing weekend in posting a pair of 71s for a seven-under par tally and a share of 15th place.
And South African-born and now Slovakian national, Rory Sabbatini has taken his first step in hopefully creating a Ryder Cup first in signing off for a 66 and a share of 10th place at eight-under par.
Sabbatini married the cousin to the vice-president of the Slovakian Golf Federation and earlier this year, the now 43-year old changed his citizenship to Slovakian.
It was a move also that could qualify see Sabbatini represent Slovakia in the 2020 Olympic Games.