Date: June 09, 2008

Fowler falls short in Vienna

Australian Peter Fowler finished three shots adrift of winner Jeev Milkha Singh at the rain-shortened Bank Austria Open in Vienna. Fowler shot a two-under-par third, and final, round of 69 to finish 12 under overall and ended the day as he started it in a tie for third position. The Aussie&aposs third day consisted of four birdies and two bogeys and he finished level with Swedish trio Martin Erlandsson, Pelle Edberg and Michael Jonzon and Englishman Iain Pyman. Singh thanked the golfing gods after taking a leaf from Nick Faldo&aposs book to win the tournament. Singh carded a closing 71 with 18 straight pars to emulate Faldo&aposs feat in the final round of his Open Championship victory at Muirfield in 1987. The 36-year-old began the day with a four-shot lead and although he was never less than two ahead until the final hole, needed to survive a few nervous moments to claim the first prize of 170,000 pounds ($AU 348,084) and his third European Tour title after two second places earlier this season. A 15-under-par total of 198 left Singh one shot clear of England&aposs Simon Wakefield, who birdied three of the last four holes. Northern Ireland&aposs Graeme McDowell, who beat Singh in a play-off in the Ballantine&aposs Championship in Korea in March, had been in contention but three-putted the 17th and then hit his approach into the water on the last to finish in a tie for eighth. “I feel very fortunate to win with 18 pars,” said Singh, who won the Volvo Masters and Volvo China Open in 2006. “Shooting even par on the last day it&aposs tough to win and Simon put up a great fight.” “I think the golfing gods were looking out for me. They did not want a play-off with the bad weather forecast. I didn&apost hit my last putt hard enough but it caught the edge of the hole and went in.” “I had no idea about matching Nick Faldo. I was trying to make birdies but they just weren&apost going in. When you have a lead you don&apost want to be too aggressive or too defensive, you just play &aposmediocre&apos golf and hit fairways and greens.” “It&aposs great to win, it&aposs always a feather in your cap. I&aposve knocked on the door a few times this season and at last the door has opened for me. I&aposm pretty excited about that.” Runner-up Wakefield is still seeking his first tour title in 206 events but was delighted to claim outright second with a late charge. “The game plan was to just go out and not doing anything stupid to take me out of the tournament early on,” admitted the 34-year-old from Newcastle-under-Lyme. “But then after the 12th I just changed gear, tried to be a bit more aggressive and it paid off.” “It&aposs fantastic. My season has not been sparkling so far but the last few weeks I could see some form there. With my wife Denise and little girl Lucy watching at home on TV I&aposm glad I put a good show on for them.” “Jeev won in China (in 2006) when I finished fourth, he always seems to beat me by a couple but hopefully in the next few years I can get my revenge.” Pyman, a winner on the Challenge Tour in Kenya this year, had set the early clubhouse target on 12 under par after a closing 65. “I&aposve been playing well all year, although you wouldn&apost think it from the scores, but I haven&apost been able to get the thing in the hole,” said the former British Amateur champion. “But the greens are fantastic here. I would love to play here every week.” “I&aposve been struggling and with no sponsors and having to pay your own way it&aposs difficult, it&aposs mentally tiring, so this finish is a great boost.” Pre-tournament favourite Darren Clarke saved his best for last, a closing 65 lifting the Ryder Cup star into a share of 19th. Kiwi Mark Brown finished two shots behind Fowler and five shots off Singh with a third-round even-par 71 ensuring he remained on 10 under in equal 13th spot. Third Round Scores from the Austrian Golf Open, Vienna, Austria -15: Jeev Mikha Singh 64 63 71 -14: Simon Wakefield 66 65 68 -12: Pelle Edberg 64 72 65, Martin Erlandsson 67 69 65, Peter Fowler (Australia) 65 67 69, Michael Jonzon 70 64 67, Ian Pyman 69 67 65, Francios Delamontage 69 68 65 -11: Soren Hansen 68 65 69, Sam Little 68 67 67, Graeme McDowell 67 67 68, Robert Rock 68 69 65 -10: Mark Brown (New Zealand) 69 63 71, Steven Jeppesen 67 71 65, Francesco Molinari 68 67 68, Kyron Sullivan 71 67 65, Paul Waring 68 68 67 -9: Richard Bland 66 67 71, Emanuele Canonica 65 69 70, Darren Clarke 70 69 65 Also: -5: Andrew Tampion (Australia) 70 69 69 -4: Scott Barr (Australia) 64 73 72, Terry Pilkadaris (Australia) 67 72 70, Scott Strange (Australia) 69 67 73 Par: Steve Alker (Australia) 76 64 73