ISPS Handa Vic Open: David Law produces late charge to claim title

Celebration time for David Law
Celebration time for David Law

Scotland's David Law produced a spectacular finish to overhaul long-time leader Wade Ormsby and win his first European Tour title at the ISPS Handa Vic Open.

Leaderboard

-18 David Law

-17 Brad Kennedy, Wade Ormsby

-16 Justin Harding


Final round report

Scotland's David Law produced a spectacular finish to overhaul long-time leader Wade Ormsby and win his first European Tour title at the ISPS Handa Vic Open.

Law was three shots behind as he stood on the 16th tee at 13th Beach Golf Club, but made a birdie there and then produced a stunning second to eight feet on the par-five 18th to set up an eagle.

That put him in a share of the lead with Ormsby at 18 under and when the home favourite made a double-bogey on the 17th, he needed an eagle of his own on the last to force a play-off.

The 38-year-old gave himself a putt from the fringe for a three but could only make a birdie and Challenge Tour graduate Law secured a one-shot victory over Ormsby and Brad Kennedy in just his 18th European Tour appearance.

South Africa's Justin Harding finished fourth on 16 under with Scotland's David Drysdale and Australians Jason Scrivener and David Bransdon a shot further back.

The victory represents a remarkable turnaround on the course for Law, who was on the brink of taking on other work over the winter before winning last season's SSE Scottish Hydro Challenge and finishing 14th on the Challenge Tour to earn a European Tour card.

Law had also called a penalty on himself on the ninth after accidentally causing his ball to move on the green, but regrouped immediately to birdie the next two holes in a back nine of 31.

"It's massive," the 27-year-old from Aberdeen said. "It's not something I expected. For me just being out here playing on the European Tour was enough.

"I've been loving the four events I've played so far and to just be a European Tour player was what I was happy with. To have won today, it sort of changes things a little bit. I'll go home, reflect a little bit on things and reassess.

"I had to call a penalty on myself on the ninth hole, my ball moved when I went into the putt. Walking to the 10th tee me and my caddie Max just said 'Reset, try and keep calm', and luckily we did.

"We said we were going to try to finish three-two-four in the hope that we could get a top-three finish. Then birdie 16, par 17, and going down the last we said we need eagle. We make eagle, we post 18 under, you never know what can happen."

The tournament is co-sanctioned by the European Tour and LPGA Tour and features men and women playing on the same courses at the same time, for equal prize money.

In the women's event, France's Celine Boutier carded a closing 72 to claim a two-shot victory over England's Charlotte Thomas and local favourites Sarah Kemp and Su Oh.

Kemp surged through the field with a final round of 65 and Thomas returned a 69, while Oh could only manage a 74 and overnight leader Kim Kaufman slumped to a 78 to finish four shots adrift.


Third round report

Wade Ormsby will take a two-shot lead into the final round of the ISPS Handa Vic Open after testing third-day conditions at 13th Beach Golf Club.

High winds and some heavy rain made life difficult for the field, but Ormsby recovered from an early double-bogey to shoot a two-under par 70 and move to 15 under.

Fellow Australian Matthew Stieger, who recorded the round of the day with a 65, and Callum Shinkwin are two shots back - the Englishman having signed for a 66.

Challenge Tour graduate David Law, South African Justin Harding and Australia's Brad Kennedy are three shots behind Ormsby.

"It was just tough out there. I just kept grinding, really, that's all we can do in weather like that," Ormsby was quoted as saying on www.europeantour.com

"You're going to hit a lot of bad shots, need to recover a lot and I did that quite well so I'm happy.

"I feel good. I'm pretty relaxed this week, I'm treating it as a bit of a holiday."

Ormsby, who claimed his maiden title at the 264th time of asking at last season's Hong Kong Open, surrendered a double-bogey when he found a terrible lie on the par-five second.

But birdies at the fifth, ninth, 13th and 18th gave the 38-year-old from Adelaide some breathing space heading into the final round.

Overnight leader Jason Scrivener struggled with a 76 to tumble down the leaderboard and into tenth spot.

In the women's event, American leader Kim Kaufman had a late stumble to card a 75.

Kaufman takes a two-shot lead into the final round over France's Celine Boutier, who matched the lowest round of the day with a 69, and home favourite Su Oh.

Second round report

Australian duo Jason Scrivener and Nick Flanagan share the halfway lead in the ISPS Handa Vic Open as home players dominated the leaderboard.

Scrivener carded a 66 over the Beach course at 13th Beach Golf Club to move to 14 under par alongside first-round leader Flanagan, who added a 68 on the same course to his opening 62.

Compatriot Wade Ormsby is a shot off the lead with fellow Australians Matt Jager and Brad Kennedy another stroke back. Scotland's David Law, who has yet to drop a shot, is three shots off the lead alongside Clement Sordet and Nick Cullen.

A day after equalling the world record with nine straight birdies, Australia's James Nitties could only manage one birdie, 16 pars and a double bogey on the 18th to fall eight shots off the lead following a 74.

Scrivener, who like Law is bogey-free for the first 36 holes, said: "Any time your game's in a good place and you're constantly making cuts and putting yourself in contention, it's good for confidence.

"I just feel like over the last six months I've made some big improvements in my game and steadily progressing the last couple of years.

"I feel like it's in a good position and I just want to give myself more chances to win tournaments. I definitely feel like I've been knocking on the door and I think the more chances I give myself, the better."

Flanagan looked like enjoying the outright lead for a second day running after posting five birdies in the first 15 holes before a bogey on the 16th, but was still happy with his day's work.

"I'm probably happier with today's round considering it was backing up that 62," he said. "To be up there at the top of the leaderboard's obviously great and we'll go out on the weekend and just kind of keep doing what I'm doing."

The tournament is co-sanctioned by the European Tour and LPGA and features men and women playing on the same courses at the same time, for equal prize money.

In the women's event, American Kim Kaufman carded a second consecutive 66 to reach 13 under and lead by two shots from Japan's Haru Nomura, with Australian Su Oh a further shot back.

England's Charlotte Thomas is four shots off the pace after a second successive 68, but compatriot Felicity Johnson, who held a two-shot lead overnight, could only manage a 74 to finish six under.

First round report

The 36-year-old Nitties' incredible run matches the feat accomplished by former Open champion Mark Calcavecchia in the 2009 Canadian Open and followed a double bogey on the 14th hole of the Beach course at 13th Beach Golf Club, his fifth hole of the day.

Austria's Bernd Wiesberger made nine birdies in a row at the 2017 Maybank Championship, but with preferred lies in play on that occasion Nitties' run of gains made him the first player to officially do it on the European Tour.

"I had a good chance for that 10th birdie but I didn't want to break it," Nitties joked. "It's such a longstanding record, I wouldn't do that to Mark, so it's good to hold it with him.

"I'm pumped. I don't hold any other world records that I know of, so to be a part of one is pretty cool. I definitely have the world record for best bounce-back stat because I holed the nine birdies and I preceded it with a double-bogey.

"I was a little peeved off that I made double from the middle of the fairway and followed up with a couple of birdies and then rattled off about seven or eight more - it's pretty special."

An eight-under-par 64 left Nitties in a six-way tie for second alongside Jason Scrivener, James Anstiss, Callum Shinkwin, Kurt Kitayama and Hugo Leon, two shots behind leader Flanagan, who had eight birdies and two eagles in a 62 on the Creek Course.

"A couple of early putts dropped and then I just wasn't trying too hard, essentially," Flanagan said. "I just had one of those days where everything seemed to kind of go right."

The tournament is co-sanctioned by the European Tour and LPGA and features men and women playing on the same courses at the same time, for equal prize money.

In the women's event, England's Felicity Johnson carded an eight-under-par 65 to claim a two-shot lead over America's Kim Kaufman, Canada's Anne-Catherine Tanguay and Australia's Su Oh.

Women's British Open champion Georgia Hall is five shots off the lead after a 70, with Solheim Cup captain Catriona Matthew carding a 72 and Charley Hull returning a level-par 73.

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