Luiten keeps cool to claim Lyoness Open in Austria

AFP, VIENNA

Tue, Jun 11, 2013 - Page 19

Dutchman Joost Luiten kept his cool to overcome strong challenges from Thomas Bjorn and Liang Wen-chong and a lengthy weather delay to lift the Lyoness Open on Sunday for his second European Tour success.

Luiten carded a final round 71 for a 17-under-par total of 271, with Denmark’s Bjorn two shots back in second and Liang tied for third, with France’s Romain Wattel a further shot adrift. Bjorn claimed the runner-up spot outright with a birdie at the 18th.

China’s Liang, eight shots off the pace at the start of the day, lit up the fourth round with a six-under-par 66, featuring seven birdies with the only blemish a bogey at the par three 9th.

Luiten dropped a shot at the opening hole, but immediately made amends with a birdie at the second, finishing with a birdie and two solid pars.

“It’s been a great week so I am really, really happy,” the 27-year-old said. “It was a long day, I started off with a bogey, but I hit the ball nicely so I just wanted to focus on that, hit the greens, two-putt and make the others chase me.”

Luiten was on the 14th tee when the threat of lightning forced a one hour break in play.

“At that time I wanted to play on, but it was good to have a break for me because I wasn’t playing really well. So I just had some food and tried to focus again and went out there and tried to make pars and sneak in a birdie and that’s what I did,” he said.

This was his third top 10 finish of the season and the win followed up his debut victory in the Iskandar Johor Open in 2011.