Hong Kong: Wade Ormsby prevailed from a dramatic final day in Fanling to claim his first European Tour title at the UBS Hong Kong Open.
The Australian entered the fourth round one shot behind SSP Chawrasia and when he turned in level-par 34, he was four behind his Indian rival.
But Chawrasia then triple-bogeyed the ninth to bring a host of players back into contention and Ormsby held a two-shot lead as he stood on the 18th fairway at Hong Kong Golf Club, a Golf Course Facility Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.
In the group behind, Rafa Cabrera Bello birdied the 17th to pile on the pressure and a closing three-putt bogey from Ormsby left the duo in a tie at 11-under.
Cabrera Bello then put his second shot in the bunker at the front of the final green and when he failed to get up and down, the title was Ormsby’s.
Alexander Björk, Paul Peterson and Julian Suri finished alongside Cabrera Bello at 10-under, a shot clear of Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood who got the defence of his title off to a good start. Olympic champion Justin Rose and Masters champion Sergio Garcia finished in tied 10th and 19th respectively.
Ormsby played his first season on the European Tour in 2004 after coming through the Qualifying School and he has done that four times since in a career that has also seen him struggle with injury at times.
A fifth place finish at the Andalucia Valderrama Masters hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation ensured he eventually kept his card in comfortable fashion two months ago and he will now have an exemption until 2020 after winning at the 264th time of asking.
The Australian’s thrilling win will also see him make a huge leap of 201 places in the Official World Golf Ranking, from 319th to 118th.
Ormsby said: “It was a bit of a weird feeling watching Rafa with a short par putt on 18 to make it a play-off. You don’t want to win like that but I’m sure a lot of guys have. I just missed one there, too. It’s not the way you want to do it, but at the same time you take them how you can get them.
“This feels amazing. I’m trying to hold it together here but I’m pretty stoked. Well, not pretty stoked: Very stoked. I played solid all day, hit a lot of greens but the putter wasn’t quite behaving. You saw that at the last which was disappointing to three-putt but you have to take them when they come so I won’t be complaining too much.”
Cabrera Bello said: “It’s been a great week. I came from playing great last year, I finished second here. I felt that I gave myself a really good chance coming in today. I’ve been battling till the last hole. There’s not really much more that you can ask yourself as a player than to have a chance coming up the last. The coin just didn’t fall my side this time.”