2nd May 2010 | Alps Tour Golf
Ola for Bragulat at Gösser Open
Spanish Juan Antonio Bragulat were 3 strokes behind the leader this morning. He played a wonderful golf, especially his long game and signed for the best score of his career, 64, -8 to catch his maiden win as professional with a total of -17. Unfortunate Austrian Uli Weinhandl, three putted the 18th hole to let go the last chance to get into a play off.
Most of the spectators were following the last group. French Joakimides and particularly Austrian Uli Weinhanl had many fans. It was a slow start and they both earned on shot on the first hole and dropped it on the short third hole.
Meanwhile, French player Olivier Serres was having one of the most exciting round of his career. He was -4 after 36 holes, left 2 hours before the last group. As he said on the sixth fairway to a journalist : “It is a incredible group, Juan almost made albatros on 1st, I chipped in on the second, Juan was very closed to holed in one the 3rd, we are playing great…” And the story was on the way to be very nice. As Olivier arrived on the 18th hole, his friends on the terrace can feel how exciting he was. He holed a last birdy, applause himself and scored 64 to jump on the podium. A group of 3 other players tied for this place : English Ricki Neil-Jones, Norvegian Jason Kelly and Austrian Gordon Manson.
The crowd following the leaders had quickly understood that the 25 year old Spanish could be a real danger for their Austrian hero. Bragulat was -11 on the 6th and so was Weinhandl 10 minutes later. This game of “catch me if you can” run until the 15th hole. Bragulat had already played it and holed his third birdy in a raw to be -17. Weinandl needed a birdy to stay in contact but unfortunately, he lost one stroke.
At this moment he was two shots behind Bragulat and the hope of a play off seemed to disappear. But Austrian “engine” was supported by fellows and he holed two brilliant birdies on 16th and 17th.
Meanwhile, Bragulat finished his round under the Spanish noise made by more than 15 friends around the last green. He was -17 and so was Austrian challenger too. The wait started and seemed to be much more stressful for supporters than for Juan Antonio Bragulat.
“Whatever happened, it was a wonderful day. I played so well. My long game was great.” The people around said : “ He is like a Spanish bull, nothing could stop him !”
Weinhandl hit a perfect tee short on the 18th, had to choose between wedge and 9 iron for second shot and took 9 iron but was a bit long of the green. Then another dilemma : chip or putt ? He putted but missed the hole for win and had then a 1 meter and half to go into a play off… Everybody were breathless. Uli did not make it and young Bragulat was congratulated by buddies, fair and gentle first and hailing their new hero…
At Maria Lankowitz