Bourdy targets Ryder Cup place after stunning finish to win in Wales
FRANCE'S Gregory Bourdy set his sights on a Ryder Cup place after producing a closing hat-trick of birdies to win the first qualifying event, the ISPS Handa Wales Open.
Bourdy birdied the 16th, 17th and 18th at Celtic Manor to deny Peter Uihlein his second win of the season, the American finishing two behind due to a bogey on the last as he tried to find the birdie needed to force a play-off.
"It's one of my big goals and dreams to be in the Ryder Cup," Bourdy said after a closing 67 which also featured a holed bunker shot for an eagle on the second. "But I didn't realise the points started this week until after my first round.
"I've been playing golf since I was three years old and it's always been my dream to win majors and be in the Ryder Cup, especially in France in 2018.
NEW FROM SYMPLY - a wet dog food in a tray freshly steamed with real meat and veg you can see minimum of 68% meat content up to 72% in the adult trays.
Terms: Come and try tray at introductory price of £1
Contact: 01271 440626
Valid until: Friday, January 31 2014
"Now I have a chance to make the next one, but there are a lot of tournaments to play. It's a great start but I will need to play very well because there are so many great players in Europe and it's going to be tough as usual to be in the team."
Uihlein began the day three shots clear of Bourdy and Thomas Levet, but after a birdie at the second he pulled his tee-shot into a water hazard on the third and had to hole from 30ft just to salvage a bogey.
Another bogey followed on the next and, with Bourdy having already eagled the par-five second, the pair were tied on six under.
Bourdy then led by two when he birdied the 11th as Uihlein bogeyed the tenth, but Uihlein regained the upper hand when Bourdy bogeyed the 13th and 14th – due to a three-putt and then driving into the water – a birdie on the 15th taking him back into the lead.
However, Bourdy then holed a curling 40ft birdie putt on the 16th and another from 12ft on the 17th to reclaim the lead, only for Uihlein to respond with a lengthy birdie putt of his own on the 17th.
Another birdie looked unlikely on the par-five 18th when Bourdy's approach came up 30ft short of the hole, but the 31-year-old promptly holed that putt as well to finish eight under par.
Watching from the fairway behind, Uihlein knew he now needed to match that birdie to force a play-off, but charged his putt six feet past the hole and missed the return.
He still finished in outright second on six under, with Denmark's Soren Kjeldsen a shot further back after a closing 66.
Despite letting slip a three-shot lead, Uihlein paid tribute to Bourdy, adding: "He earned it the last three holes and hats off to him. It was a tough day and he played fantastic."