Bourdy’s birdies win the ISPS Handa Wales Open

Bourdy’s birdies win the ISPS Handa Wales Open

Gregory Bourdy finished with three successive birdies on one of the toughest closing stretches on the European Tour to claim victory at the ISPS Handa Wales Open.

Bourdy was tied with third round leader Peter Uihlein when he embarked on his improbable run for home by draining a 50-footer from just off the green on the tough, par-four 16th.

He holed from 15 feet at the par-three 17th before sinking another outrageous putt from 10 yards in front of packed galleries on the final green to complete a final round of four-under-par 67.

Playing in the group behind, Uihlein hung in gamely with a monster putt of his own for birdie on the 17th but could not find the hole from half the distance on the last to force a play-off.

“This is my fourth European Tour win but I’m so proud to win this trophy on this great golf course,” said the 31-year-old Frenchman.

“That is a very tough finish especially with this wind, it’s one of the toughest we play on tour. 

“It’s always a great pleasure for all the players to play this golf course and stay in this hotel. Walking down this fairway and onto this green, with this setting, is always an amazing experience and this is one of the best of my life.”

Bourdy was given the traditional champagne soaking afforded to all French winners by countryman Thomas Levet, as he attempted to conduct a TV interview and had to attend the prizegiving ceremony in a soaking blue shirt and red trousers. He was presented with the ISPS Handa Wales Open trophy and a first prize of £300,000.

He moves up to 19th in the Race to Dubai and charges straight into the lead in the Ryder Cup qualification race after victory at the first counting event.

Uihlein, bidding to win on a course where his more illustrious American compatriots were famously beaten at the 2010 Ryder Cup, eventually finished two shots back in second.

Denmark’s Soren Kjeldsen shot a round of the day 66 to climb into third place on five under par, two ahead of Dutchman Joost Luiten and England’s John Parry, the leading British finisher.

Large crowds on the banks above the 18th green enjoyed a day of sunshine and the dramatic finish, having earlier been treated to an amusing Q&A session from Lions heroes Sam Warburton and George North, hilariously hosted by Scott Quinnell in the tented village. 

Paralympic discus gold medallist Josie Pearson also told her inspiring story of success alongside ISPS Handa PGA Academy coach Craig Thomas, who had just given her first ever golf lesson.