Wales Open: Gregory Bourdy wins at Celtic Manor after final flourish
By Paul Higham Twitter: @SkySportsPaulH. Last Updated: 01/09/13 6:16pm
Gregory Bourdy produced flying finish to win Wales Open
Gregory Bourdy birdied his final three holes to claim an exciting two-shot victory at the ISPS Handa Wales Open from American Pete Uihlein at Celtic Manor.
Uilein held a three-shot lead ahead of Bourdy and fellow Frenchman Thomas Levet, but while the American went round in a one-over 70 and Levet fell right away, Bourdy shot a four-under 67 to claim the title.
An eagle at the second got Bourdy right back into contention, but bogeys at 13 and 14 saw him drop back as Uihlein then birdied 15 to go back one shot in front.
GB & Ire unless stated
-8 G Bourdy (Fra)
-6 P Uihlein (US)
-5 S Kjeldsen (Den)
-3 J Parry
-3 J Luiten (Ned)
Click here for collated scoresn
Bourdy kick-started his challenge on 16 though when he drained a 45-foot snaking putt from the fringe for birdie, and followed that up with a more regulation two at the par-three 17th.
Uilhlein, playing in the final group behind, followed suit when he rolled in a fine long putt to join Bourdy back at the top of the leaderboard as both men made their way down the par-five 18th.
Bourdy hit his short approach to 30-odd feet, but maintained his hot streak by draining the putt to really ramp up the pressure on Uihlein, who just burnt the edge of the hole with a similar birdie effort to hand the title to the fast-finishing Frenchman.
"It was an amazing round, I started great with an eagle on the second and that gave me a lot of confidence for the rest of the course," Bourdy told Sky Sports after a round containing just 24 putts as he began Ryder Cup qualifying in style.
"I bogeyed 13 and 14 so I needed some birdies and thankfully I made three of them on the last three holes - I'll remember that great finish on such a great course for a long time.
"I was thinking about the Ryder Cup here when I was walking down the 18th so it's such a great honour to win this event here at Celtic Manor.
"I changed my putting grip last week but I thought it was not good enough, so I went back to my old grip and my old putter this week and thankfully it worked out well for me.
"It's a dream to be in the Ryder Cup team quick and before France in 2018, its one of my biggest goals in golf so I'll do my best to stay in a good position in the rankings."
Denmark's Soren Kjeldsen shot a brilliant 66 to finish in third on five-under, ahead of John Parry and Joost Luiten, while Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley finished tied eighth after a sparkling final round of 67.