Wednesday, August 1
Austrian Wiesberger Ready for Firestone
“With Firestone this week and hopefully also the US PGA Championship coming up, I have a great chance of climbing even higher in The Race to Dubai .... I feel like I’m playing the best golf of my life—my confidence and expectations have never been higher.”
– Bernd Wiesberger, two-time winner this season on European Tour
By Alan Ewens
BERND WIESBERGER HAS TARGETED A PLACE in the top ten of The Race to Dubai—and a share of the $3.75 million Bonus Pool—after securing his second title of the season in thrilling fashion at last week’s Lyoness Open.
The €166,660 winner’s cheque moved Wiesberger up to 19th place in The Race to Dubai, with season earnings of €654,984, and guaranteed the Ballantine’s champion a place in the 60-man field for the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, which returns to the Earth course at Jumeirah Golf Estates from November 22-25.
It will be a debut appearance in the season-ending $8 million event for Wiesberger, who finished in 64th place in The 2011 Race to Dubai, having graduated from the Challenge Tour the previous year.
He said: “Winning your first tournament on The European Tour is always special but to win your national Open will take some beating, and the fact that it moves me into the top 100 of the World Ranking and the top 20 of The Race to Dubai is a huge bonus. I just missed out on playing in Dubai last year, so to know that I’ve already guaranteed my place in the field with almost half the season left is amazing.
“With Firestone this week and hopefully also the US PGA Championship coming up, I have a great chance of climbing even higher in The Race to Dubai—and maybe even into the top ten. It’s already been a great season, but hopefully I’m not finished yet and it’s going to get even better. I feel like I’m playing the best golf of my life—my confidence and expectations have never been higher.”
England’s Justin Rose, looking to end the season as Europe’s Number One for a second time after topping the Money List in 2007, remains the man to catch in The Race to Dubai with winnings of €1,836,334. The Englishman leads by €161,609 from Open Champion Ernie Els of South Africa, with in-form Italian Francesco Molinari currently in third on €1,633,853.
All three players will be in action at this week’s WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio, where, with €1,131,130 up for grabs to the winner, it could be all change at the top as the cream of The European Tour target a place in the grand finale at the DP World Tour Championship.