Australia’s Brett Rumford survived a late wobble to win the Ballantine’s Championship in dramatic style yesterday, hitting an eagle on the first extra hole to seal the victory.
Rumford blew a two-shot lead on the last two holes, double-bogeying the 17th and missing the fairway on the 18th before settling for par, leaving him tied at 11-under with Marcus Fraser and Peter Whiteford.
However, Rumford recovered his poise on the first extra hole, the par-five 18th, hitting a much better tee shot and landing his second shot just a few feet above the hole, before securing a fourth European Tour title.
Scotland’s Whiteford, who had missed a relatively short birdie putt on the 18th to win in regulation at the par-72 Blackstone Golf Club in Icheon, South Korea, and Australia’s Fraser both birdied the first extra hole.
Rumford choked back tears as he thanked his wife, Sally, for her support.
The win, his fourth on the European Tour and his first since 2007, came one day before her birthday.
“It was mixed emotions coming home and I’m really lost for words at the moment, but there are a lot of people I need to thank, starting with my wife, Sally,” Rumford said. “It’s been pretty hard golf-wise and raising twins is not easy. She’s an amazing lady, and she’s a great support to me and that’s why I’m standing here today. It was an absolute roller-coaster ride of emotions out there this afternoon.”