Date: April 29, 2013

Grant Report – Rumford beats Fraser to win Ballantine’s Title

West Australian Brett Rumford has snared the $2.8million Ballantine’s Championship in Korea, beating Victorian Marcus Fraser and Scotland’s Peter Whiteford in a play-off.

The former Australian Amateur Champion clinched the co-sanctioned European & Asian Tour title in spectacular style, rifling his second shot on the first extra hole to two metres from the pin and holing the eagle putt.

It was a bold comeback from Rumford after the 35-year-old blew the lead he held in regulation play in the final round.

He was cruising towards victory after going out in 30 at the Blackstone Golf Club. But, leading by two shots with two holes to play, the Australian dropped two shots with a double-bogey six on the 17 to fall back into a share of the lead.

He regrouped immediately in the play-off though to capture the championship.

“It was a roller coaster day for me. One shot can really turn events, and obviously 17 proved that," Rumford said.  "I seemingly had everything under control, and I was thinking, it’s just two good drives coming home and then I hit two into the trees which wasn’t my ideal finish.

Even though he is only in his mid-thirties, Rumford is wary of the challenge of younger players and says winning is becoming tougher by the year.

“It’s an honour to win anytime, and it’s only getting harder and harder," he said.

"As the years go on, I’m getting older and there are more and more young guys coming through with really big games, and the face of golf is changing with technology and obviously with the fitness of these young guys coming through, the ball going so much further.

"So it’s great to be in this position today and an honour to win the Ballantine’s Championship.”

Fraser, who was bidding to win his second Ballantine’s Championship following his victory in 2010, said that while he was pleased to be in contention he was simply outplayed on the day.

“I played very well this week and came up a little bit short," Fraser said. "I got beaten by some pretty good golf today.

"That shot into the play-off hole was pretty impressive. He (Rumford) would easily agree it’s one of the best shots he’s ever hit to, so full credit to him.

“I played the play-off hole really well.  Hit the second shot a little bit left and hit a great chip to about a foot. But that wasn’t good enough and that’s the way it is, that’s golf and we are big boys, we’ll get over it I’m sure.

Whiteford had a chance to capture the title but his one metre birdie putt on the 18th narrowly missed.

“I thought it was a decent putt but I obviously misread it," he said.  "I’ll  take the positives, press on and see if I can go one better.”

The sixth Ballantine’s Championship was the first event to be played in Korea on the Asian Tour this season and is once again sanctioned by the Asian Tour, European Tour and Korea PGA.

By: Robert Grant