Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger won the Italian Open on Sunday, his third European Tour title of the season and second Rolex Series victory of the year.
Wiesberger shot 66-70-67-65 at Rome’s Olgiata Golf Club to finish at 16-under-par 268, one stroke ahead of England’s Matthew Fitzpatrick.
Wiesberger, who won the Made in Denmark tournament in May and Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open in July, missed the last eight months of the 2018 season with a wrist injury.
“It’s been a great summer for me,” said Wiesberger, 34. “I’ve had a lot of good golf shown and a lot of progress after coming back from the last year.
“I’ve won three times this year and it’s been the same every time. I’ve just really enjoyed my time and I’m positive to be back out there because I know how tough it was when I had to withdraw from these great events.
“I've played really well in the right events … which helps getting up there in the Race to Dubai. I feel excited about what is ahead of us in these last four events."
With the victory, Wiesberger moved to the top of the Race to Dubai rankings, was projected to move up to 22nd in the Official World Golf Ranking and boosted his chances of making his Ryder Cup debut in 2020.
Wiesberger, who started the final round three strokes behind Fitzpatrick, made birdies on Nos. 5-7 while Fitzpatrick made only one birdie in his first eight holes. On the par-5 ninth, Fitzpatrick hit his tee shot out of bounds and made a double bogey, while Wiesberger made birdie and took a two-stroke lead.
While Wiesberger birdied both back-nine par-3s, Nos. 14 and 16, Fitzpatrick remained on his heels with birdies at 13 and both homeward par-5s, Nos. 15 and 17. Trailing by a stroke, Fitzpatrick could only equal Wiesberger’s par at the last and posted a closing 69.
The runner-up finish was Fitzpatrick’s fourth of the season, and it moved him to fourth in the Race to Dubai rankings. He is still looking to extend his run of consecutive seasons with a victory to five.
“I think I’ve played well when I’ve been up there on a Sunday, just other people really keep grinding and I keep coming up from behind,” Fitzpatrick said. “It is what it is. It’s still a great week. I’m here to win and not here to just make up the numbers.”
American Kurt Kitayama finished third at 12-under 272. Englishman Andrew “Beef” Johnston, Scotsman Robert MacIntyre and Austrian Matthias Schwab shared fourth 11 under.
RESULTS | RACE TO DUBAI
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