• Ballantine's Championship, Round Four

Rumford ends title drought

ESPN staff
April 28, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Brett Rumford with his trophy © Getty Images
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Ballantine's Championship leaderboard

A double-bogey at the penultimate hole did not derail Brett Rumford on Sunday, as he recovered to win the Ballantine's Championship with an eagle at the first hole of a sudden death play-off.

The Australian defeated compatriot Marcus Fraser and Scotland's Peter Whiteford in the most pressurised of circumstances, pouring in a mid-range putt for an eagle three at the par-five 18th - a hole he had only managed to par moments earlier - to come away with a win that he had long looked on course to claim.

"It was an absolute rollercoaster ride of emotions out there this afternoon," Rumford, who shot 68 on Sunday, said afterwards. "Obviously my last five holes yesterday and front nine today got me in a great position to take this tournament. Ballantine's is always a tremendous sponsor and it's just a great event."

Rumford went out in 30 in the front nine to soar into contention at Blackstone Golf Club, before a calamitous six at the par-four 17th threatened to end his challenge as he was forced to wait in the clubhouse at 11-under. But Fraser and Whiteford could only par the last as they ended up in a play-off, with Rumford holding his nerve to take the win.

It was his fourth European Tour title, but his first since the 2007 Omega Masters.

"It was mixed emotions coming home and I'm really lost for words at the moment but there are a lot of people I need to thank - starting with my wife Sally," added Rumford. "It's been pretty hard golf-wise and raising twins is not easy; she's an amazing lady and she's a great support to me and that's why I'm standing here today.

"I'm really pleased with the result and I owe a lot to Ronnie my caddy and I've got a great team around me."

Overnight leader Alex Noren fell down the field with a final round 74, as France's Romain Wattel and Louis Oosthuizen completed the top five at nine-under and eight-under respectively.

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